I first published Caveman Wisdom as an article in my blog in 2017, but I believe its content is just as relevant today as it was then. The article affirms a great truth, which many individuals may not yet fully realize: that the quality of our lives–and our world–is directly related to the nature of the thoughts we habitually think. And when thought is imbued with feeling, we hold the key that unlocks a destiny that we deliberately choose.
Two cavemen, Gronk and Thogg, were sitting on a rock ledge, overlooking the expanse of land that stretched before them. The afternoon sun was full and bright; not a cloud was in the sky. In the near distance, wildlife grazed or darted playfully to and fro. The warbled songs and stabbing calls of various birds filled the air. Life was good. Impulsively Thogg turned toward his friend and said, “You know, Gronk, I’ve been…thinking.” It felt as though he was admitting a dirty secret.
Gronk lowered his head and stroked the hair of his forearm. “There’ve been rumours,” he said.
“Yes, no doubt. Word gets around.”
“What’s it like?”
Thogg was staring dreamily off into the distance. “It’s wild. Can take you on amazing trips without ever leaving the cave.”
“Sounds almost like a drug,” said Gronk.
“You ever been tempted?”
“Nah, can’t say that I have,” said Gronk. Indifferent, he began to pick at his teeth with a small twig. A few moments later: “It’s new, isn’t it?”
Thogg leaned against a slab of rock behind him and spread his arms wide, sitting as though on a couch. “In the big scheme of life, yes, relatively.”
“It’s just a fad, though, right?”
“No,” said Thogg, “I think it’s here to stay.”
“What is it…actually?”
“It’s a higher intellect function that sets us part from wildebeests, monkeys, and such. They haven’t got it, but we do. With thinking, we can produce ideas, decisions, and memories or have opinions about something.”
“You don’t say,” said Gronk. Staring off into the distance, he absentmindedly scratched at his chest. “Is it good for anything?”
“Well, can be,” said Thogg.
“Remember two moons ago, when we were working on that straight stick?”
“And how I used a rock to shape the end into a point?”
“Yes, marvelous, simply marvelous. What a stroke of luck!”
Thogg grinned. “Uh, uh, wasn’t luck. It was thinking,” he said–tapping a crooked finger against his head.
“For sure. Thinking is great stuff; we just have to use it carefully.”
Gronk scratched his chin. “Whadya mean?”
“Well, thinking is like any other tool–like fire, twigs, rocks, and clubs. We just have to make certain that we’re using our thinking rather than our thinking using us.“
Gronk swatted lazily at some flies buzzing near his head, and then turned–with a puzzled expression–to face Thogg. “I’m not sure I follow,” he said.
“Hmm,” said Thogg. “Well, you know when we make fire? How we have to be careful?”
“For sure,” said Gronk. “Because if we’re not we can get burned!”
“That’s right,” said Thogg. “Thinking is much like building fire. We must always control the fire, and fan only the positive sparks of thought.”
A glimmer of understanding lit across Gronk’s face. “Tell me more,” he said.
“It’s really not that complicated,” replied Thogg. “With thinking, we can imagine all sorts of new ways to improve life. The key is to focus on good stuff…here,” he said, pointing to his head.
“Sounds wonderful!” exclaimed Gronk. I’m going to try this new thing called thinking on for size.”
“Before you do,” said Thogg, “just remember the caveat.”
“Humph,” said Gronk, “the what?”
“The ca-ve-at,” said Thogg, with a roll of his eyes. “It means a warning or caution.”
“What’s the warning?”
“That we must only think positively–never negatively, or about what we fear.”
“Just one more time…why?”
Thogg cleared his throat, and leaned forward. “Because all thought–both good and bad–is creative! If we focus on negative thoughts, we’ll create negative outcomes! You may not know this yet, but we’re creators–the top of the heap! And thinking is our greatest tool. If we think the right way, there’s no telling how far we may go. But if we think the wrong way, absolutely no good can come of it.”
Gronk stuck out his chin and nodded. A beetle crawling by soon caught his attention. As though mesmerized, he nudged it several times with his finger. And just as suddenly as their discussion had begun, it came to an end. Gronk yawned; thinking about thinking had made him tired. He groaned softly as he stretched out on the flat rock to soak up the heat of the sun. Thogg, however, felt energized. Compelled by a creative spirit that would not be denied, he clambered up a nearby hill. At the peak, he raised a hand to his prominent brow and scanned the horizon–dreaming and thinking of a better future not yet a reality. As twilight fell, a lone eagle crossed his field of vision. Thogg craned his head and watched it soar in wide circles above him. How effortlessly it flew, barely moving its wings. A grin crossed his face. “One day,” he said aloud, “maybe one day.” And with that thought echoing in his mind, he ambled back to his cave and dreamt away the night.
Now, as ever, we possess the choice to determine what we will focus upon. We can remain riveted to the seemingly nonstop media coverage and statistics regarding the current situation in the world, or we can turn away–if only briefly–and give ourselves and the world a welcome respite. The choice is ours.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell