Ploughing fields and carrying water buckets

“History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was busy ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.” This is another line from #Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, which is my current Audible book. While the scope of this line is primarily the events and recording of history, it also neatly captures a philosophical dichotomy I’ve been grappling with for years. On the one hand, if I’m honest with myself, I want to be one of those who makes history happen. I want to change the world! On the other hand, I believe that “real” physical work, done well and with intention, can be some of the holiest, most important work there is to be done. (See: My current Insta story; See also: My entire life as a stay-at-home parent). Do you ever experience these competing wishes? Or maybe you don’t even see them as competing?

History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was busy ploughing fields and carrying water buckets

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and parenting. She has written for popular digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, The New York Times, Parents, Romper, Verywell Mind, WIRED, and more. Emily is a professional member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Previously, Emily researched PTSD for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and earned a master's in psychology. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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