(the movie screen in your mind)
Time travel is fun.
Want to learn to do it?
The year is 1608. England buzzes with William Shakespeare.
Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear are performed to rave reviews while 44 year-old William grieves the death of his mother.
A team of 47 translators works on an English translation of the Bible. Not one of them suspects their translation will remain in use 400 years into the future. In 1611 their Bible will be released as the authorized version of King James.
The novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha hasn't been translated into English but it’s all the rage in Spain. No one suspects that in exactly 8 years – on April 23, 1616 – Cervantes and Shakespeare will die simultaneously at twilight. No one knows each man will forever be remembered as the most celebrated voice in his language.
Baltasar Gracian is a 7-year-old boy in Belmonte, Spain. He’ll grow up to become a Jesuit scholar, troublemaker and philosopher. His book, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, will sweep Europe in much the same way Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac will sweep another continent 150 years later. In 1992, Baltasar’s book will be rediscovered and spend 18 weeks on the bestseller list of a country that didn’t exist while he lived. But no one has an inkling of this. Today young Baltasar is a just a 7-year old boy playing in the dust in Spain.
It’s been exactly 116 years since Christopher Columbus sailed for Queen Isabella and walked the soil of a whole new world. Today that new world is a place where conquistadors search for gold and tell tales of the Seven Cities of Cibola.
No one cares about a shipload of English weirdoes and misfits who sailed over the horizon a few months ago to set up a colony in the wilderness. They’re probably dead by now anyway. And even if they’re not, nothing will ever come of it. I think someone said they decided to call their colony “Jamestown.”
In exactly 361 years Neal Armstrong will do that Columbus thing again and a poet named James Dickey will complain, “There's no moon goddess now. But when men believed there was, then the moon was more important, maybe not scientifically, but more important emotionally. It was something a man had a personal relationship to, instead of its simply being a dead stone, a great ruined stone in the sky.” – Self Interviews, p. 67
Are you beginning to see what I mean by Time Travel? It’s a delightful way to play. And frankly, you don’t play enough. I hope you don’t mind me saying.
The key to time travel is:
1. Learn the details of a day that is past. Meet the people. Feel the buzz. Be part of their society. Become one of them.
2. From that distant vantage point, what do you imagine about our current day, knowing you will never see it?
3. Now return happily to 2008 and see how things actually turned out.
If you want to take an even trippier trip:
1. Imagine yourself 20 years from now. What are your circumstances?
2. Now look back at 2008 and think about what you wish you’d done differently.
You’ll be surprised how much this “Time Travel” exercise will change your priorities and alter your actions.
Free the Beagle.
Roy H. Williams
NEXT WEEK: How Retail is Changing. Fast.
How to Sell Radio Ads – class, June 24-25
RABBIT HOLE TRIVIA
Each upper image in a rabbit hole can be clicked to take you deeper.
Lower images can occasionally be clicked to take you into a side tunnel.
Side-tunnels are typically controversial, conflicted and confusing.
There is no side tunnel today.
The Monday Morning Memo offers no explanation for what you'll find in the rabbit hole. You just never know…