Gold. A bright shiny idea of wealth, stature, and loftiness against which all wealth and excellence is measured. Gold standard, gold coin, gold medal, golden statue, gold rings, gold watch, gold chain, gold, gold, gold. Someone somewhere many thousands of years ago in history decided this was the most precious of the precious medals. Anything we wanted or needed was either bartered or exchanged for gold. Just think of that. Whomever has the most of this stuff wins. Wins what? Wins power. Wins respect. Wins wealth. Wins the ability to have whatever they need or want. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Wait, what?!? For those of you old enough to remember wax records, think of a record scratching to a shreking abrupt halt, followed by the sounds of crickets cutting through the otherwise serene silence of a still hot summer’s night.
As I’ved watched the Rio Olympics the last two weeks gold was the most talked about, most important, least attainable standard of measure of excellence. Thousands compete and only the best of the best of the best can have that most precious of commodities — the gold medal.
Well, gold has certainly stood up to the test of time. Way before Julius Caesar gold was thought to be that which all else was to be measured. Many have lost their lives to the search for, the quest of, the need for gold. What if evolution at some point in history never even considered gold as anything more than something pretty to sit on their fireplace mantles. What if it was determined that which came from the mighty redwood tree because of its renewablility, its longevity, it’s aversion to disease and insects, and it’s uses for building, or perhaps sand from ocean beaches of which we can make glass, or cement, or sculptures, or any other thing in the universe was determined as the most precious of all precious things.
I am always immensely curious about the source and history of things in our and other cultures. Why we as people take an idea, follow it hell bent and fire ahead to develop it into an exhaulted or the polar opposite — demeaned status, and then just blindly follow it into oblivion. There’s building and molding and tweaking something that may or may not have any relevance or meaning anymore whatsoever, but since it’s been that way, it is that way. I am not here to espouse the misgivings or glory of mankind’s ways, but I am always interested in the root of original thought and how it continues evolving.
Have you ever noticed how we reward those who are geniuses and trailblazers? We pile on the adulation, money, and respect for the men and women whose thoughts and inventions break through the norm and strive to make the world a better place. Ford, Tesla, Edison, Jobs, Gates, Spielberg, Lucas, Hemmingway, Muir, the guy who discovered fire, et al… You get my point. What if they weren’t geniuses and just exhaulted free thinkers. No matter what field or genre, original perspective is our most treasured gift. Now to me, that’s gold… Sandy