What the Birds Taught Us
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
What the Birds Taught UsHow flying changed the world.
The advent of aviation radically altered the development of human civilization. The first key event in this evolutionary path was the flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright over the sands at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.
Prior to aviation, Earth’s massive size, with its terrestrial and maritime barriers, seemed to be a formidable obstacle that made integration of the world’s population unimaginable. However, within a decade of the Wright Brothers’ flight, and by the end of World War I in 1918, aircraft were capable of flying high over mountains, deserts, and oceans. Technological advancements continued, and, with today’s jets, physical distance between continents and nations is no longer a relevant factor whether engaging in business or personal travel, whether waging war or peace.
Humanity’s bird phase reached its peak in the late 1960s when aviation technology provided civilization with a new, bird’s-eye perspective of Mother Earth.
In October 1968, the crew of the Apollo 7 space mission beamed back the first pictures of our planet, one of which appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in January 1969. Another, titled “Earthrise—Apollo 8,” taken in December 1969, is a dramatic image of Earth rising over the lunar surface.
But humanity’s ingenuity toward flight reached an even higher summit in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins landed their Apollo 11 spacecraft on the moon. When Armstrong, clad in a bulky space suit, alit on the lunar surface and uttered, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” he was making a statement both profound and prophetic in the course of human evolution.
These events marked the first time that every citizen in the world could actually experience the finite nature of our beautiful planet and its isolation in space.
When birds, aviators, and astronauts fly above the surface of Earth, they gain a greater perspective of the planet than their water-based and land-based predecessors. When astronauts transmit their view of Earth as a blue-green gem suspended in the black emptiness of space back to people on the planet, they share that new perspective with the rest of humanity as well.
And those images, from that perspective, have had such a powerful effect on civilization that they have caused a change in the course of human evolution. Those images fostered and concretized the hippie notion, professed by visionaries such as Buckminster Fuller, that we are all one people traveling through the galaxy on tiny, fragile Spaceship Earth.
Those images of our Nest in the Stars induced a quality of self-consciousness in humanity that kindled and ignited an innate mammalian desire in responsive people to support survival by taking care of the environment; keeping our food and bodies healthy; and raising our children, families, and communities in an atmosphere of love and harmony.