With the writing on the wall, is true pioneering a thing of the past, lost to the passages of
time? True pioneering doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.
“...the understanding that a single life is a world unto itself, restores our ability to pioneer it”
Necessity has, and will always will drive innovation, yet even in a society hell-bent on
ignoring the metaphysical, one simple word – inspiration – holds the master key to a world larger than our own. Inspiration breeds passion, which ultimately curates an innate human desire to explore, to push back our horizons yet and close the gap between what we know, and what we don’t. It is an almost hopeless yearning for remarkable feats, to paint our self-portrait and, to tell us who we really are. Yet as time ticks forward, we
realise the seas have all been charted, the highest mountains conquered and the deserts all crossed. The men and women of yesteryear revealed the mystery-clad face of our earth and in turn gave us our world. How can we emulate or even, nay, imitate those feats of human exploratory achievement? Who are the Burke and Wills’, Sir Edmund Hillarys and Ernest Shackletons of now? Are we dejected and, walking a well-trodden path, or are we still free to carve blaze our own trails into the pages of ‘history?
We live in a time of safe bragging rights: the most likes, the top comment, the biggest salary and the nicest car. It’s clear that our human nature to break new ground is still strong, but routine keeps us chained to the familiar, chasing the undemanding. Like a caged lion, our instinctive need to roar and roam still courses through us, but we've resigned, safe in the knowledge that our world has been mapped and tamed and thus that we no longer need to seek out or fight for our right to roar, to roam. On the 29th of May, 1953, Mt Everest was summited. Conquered. That title is now lost to the archives of time and no one alive for the remainder of humanity will ever be the first to climb it again. Yet year after year, men and women face the prospect of death to step foot on the icy peak of this legend, this enigma that somehow defines their lives. Why? Because the understanding that a single life is a world unto itself restores our ability to pioneer it. It takes the charts, the maps, the precedents and tosses them into the fire. Those greats may have pioneered their world, but we are still free to pioneer ours. As it reads, it’s a whimsical consolation prize, but in truth an all-empowering bellow of defiance.
While collectively we no longer undertake these mammoth feats of global expedition and ‘terra-scrutiny’, we are as free today and as capable as ever before to shoulder them within our own life, which intrinsically is our world. Yes, Everest has been climbed, but have you climbed it? Have you sought to unmask your ‘unknowns’, conquered your Sahara, Simpson or Canning and pioneered your own existence? If not, then a life of exploration and undiluted adventure is before you, just as it lay before those in bygone times.
We may have become a people, ‘content’, but are you content to read, ‘like’ and dream in
safety, or does that inspiring fire still burn deep in your belly and beneath your breast?. That fire that crackles and whispers to you that, “the known isn't enough.”. For my life, I am
Burke and Wills. She is Sacagawea. You are Richard Weber or Jeanne Baret. We may no
longer pioneer the world for everyone else to see but we will continue, today and forever to explore our own.
It is with a stoic heart that once more, we pioneer our own unknowns.