This morning, even though I set my alarm because I doubted I could wake up on time without it, I woke up an hour before said alarm was set. I’m a morning bird by nature, so I’m fine with this. It means I have an extra hour of peace at my favorite time of day! I’ll have no problem with it until the evening, when I’ll get tired sooner.
I took the opportunity to read something I had saved to read later. I’m glad I got around to reading it. It’s an NPR article, When Did We Become Mentally Modern? It suggests evolution has more to do with our ability to use symbols than with physical developments. I’ve never thought about how many symbols there are in our lives. I think it makes a lot of sense to tie our evolution to the development of the use of symbols.
I often thought, while pregnant and while watching my babies grow, that each individual repeats the steps of evolution. We all start from a couple of cells floating in fluid. Early in embryonic development all creatures look the same. We crawl before we walk. At some point, we begin to talk. And now my children are immersed in learning the symbols of their lives. My girls put a lot of thought into their outfits. They’re all enjoying books. My second daughter is really getting into writing this year.
The most awesome point in the article is that symbols are so powerful. We instantly have an image of something in our minds when someone says something or depending on what symbols we see.
We have many shelves full of one kind of symbol: