The Respect for the Individual

Life derives from chaos.
It’s that innate pattern that makes us all the legacy of stardust, eternal memory of the colliding beginning called Big Bang.
Chaotic order, us.

But where have we started? Where can we pin point that unimaginable respect for the individual as a statement for the personification of Ourselves?
Where does the chaos become chaotic to be the rule of order in a Society learning to respect itself?

In a day like any other…

It was the 12th of September 1940 when the 18 years old Marcel called his friends Jacques, Georges, and Simon (and their dog Robot) to see his summer vacation’s findings. He’d just step foot inside the main hall of a cave filed with child like paintings like animals, humanoid figures and scribbles.

What an astonishment it might have been looking at those cave wall drawings not even realizing that they were much older than the Pyramids. (some of them 17,000 years old!)
But they were special. There was something utterly Humane to them that made those teenagers want to preserve what are now known as the Lascaux cave Paintings. And the reason for that is what, in a singular form, defines the Human Society as a whole; the respect for the individual.

Lets look at it in a different way.
You can always choose the best people with integrity, but without the respect for the singular, you’ll never truly get the respect of the whole. And that said, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s get back in time.

In the spring of 1940 France was invaded by Germany and the II World War had already started. When the four teenagers found the cave Europe was in total disarray, and by the end of September George and Simon flew from France with their parents, while Marcel and Jacques stayed to protect the paintings from the Nazis.
Being just some odd doodles painted inside of a cave, the Reich wanted nothing to to with it so, for the stewardship the remaining boys showed, they became the formal tour guides for when the caves opened to the public in 1948.
It was a success. 1.200 people daily step foot inside to see Paleolithic drawings, remanescent of our Human History.

But here comes the harsh truth. Even if all the factors were present, the “Client Value Creation” (within inverted commas) was working perfectly, people’s breath – the carbon dioxide we exhale – heat, humidity and specially the fungi people brought inadvertedly on their shoes, visibly damaged the paintings so much the cave closed by 1963 terminating the – now not so much – boys life work and job!

The times were much different than today.
Internet was a mere mirage, cell phones were a thing of the future, and the term globalization was only coined in the 1970’s.
Saving Lascaux lacked One Global Network. And it did arrive, perhaps a bit too late, as the respect for the individuals who created such an amazing – perhaps even sacred – place, felt ill to the mass produced egotistical self centered Society we grew into.

Twenty years later in 1983 an exact copy called Lascaux II opened nearby the original cave, as a compromise to present an impression of the existing painting’s scale and composition for the public without harming and furthermore destroying what had survived.
Remember, while the original is being preserved, what we now see is a twenty century replica painted onto plaster and concrete.
Like buying a very good reproduction of a painting. Good, but not the original.

But being it a reproduction, it still is a glimpse into our common past.
The overlay of several different drawings, the error and correction technique, makes past mistakes visible so that further amends show the right decisions that have been taken.
Drawing Class 101, Humanity at it’s best.

And this brings us here, a moral for, perhaps, the longest life story of a human drawing.
The respect for the individual and for how it should be viewed within a pattern of engagement is, never underestimate the global vision of it all while being able to see someone’s stewardship, for that ultimately will bring you the best peoplewholesome people, for what is, in the end, life’s purpose: the creation of Human value.

Oh, and for a happy ending?
The four teenagers, well, friends… They reunited back in 1985 at the site they found 45 years previously, still keeping safe guard of their findings.

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This story had a happy ending, ours still didn’t – for the best.
Chaos rules us in its perfect order to bring sense and reason to the chaotic life we live. We just need to stay true to ourselves, and much as those scribbles – the hand signatures Man left as their first sign of self recognition – be unique and the same as we all are together: Human.

(written presentation for a work proposal about the respect of the individual)

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