The Age of the Dinosaurs and the Age of the Mammals
A speaker at a holistic nursing conference I attended once gave us a great way to put our ideas and work in perspective, to deal with being perceived in an unfriendly way, with being seen as foolish, "unscientific", against the grain.
"When I was a child" he said "I had a very special book on science, written excellently for children, and wonderfully illustrated. In the book, one chapter followed the development of the earth down through the ages of time. I remember especially one picture which showed a mighty panorama spread across two pages. There were vast green jungles and plains, oceans and rivers, giant ferns and palm trees, and in the far background, mountains and erupting volcanoes. Everywhere in this panorama there roamed, fought, swam, flew dinosaurs, in their many varieties. At the top of this page was enscrolled, "The Age of the Dinosaurs".
As most boys I was thrilled with dinosaurs and spent much time studying this busy landscape. But after a while I discovered one detail that was different and seemed out of place : namely in the far lower right corner, there looked very cautiously out into that fierce world a small brown mouse.
When I now - thoughtfully - turned the page, I saw again the same broad view ; but thoroughly transformed. Gone were ferns and palms, replaced by more familiar forests and trees. Gone also were the dinosaurs - and in their place, another scroll proclaimed "The Age of the Mammals". Here were lions, wolves, bears, rabbits, deer, horses, cattle, everywhere the eye could see.
"Friends" our speaker said "you're like the mouse in the first picture. You're few so far - and when you're not ignored, you're harassed or attacked. But someone must be first, and . But one day the page will turn. So keep learning. Keep talking to each other and meeting together, and keep doing what you do. Because the Age of the Dinosaurs will not last forever. Your day is going to come."
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