Stephen Jay Gould was an influential American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science historian whose contributions to science and culture earned him recognition as a “Living Legend“. Like many scientists, he often weighed in on matters of ethics, philosophy, and the human condition, of which the following observation is, to my mind at least, his most powerful:
Perhaps the only thing as tragic as human suffering itself is the fact that so many people have been prevented from reaching their full potential, in turn depriving the world of so much art, invention, and innovation.
How much progress would we have made had not billions of people come and on in destitution? Where would our species be today if most of its members were given a chance at self-actualization? When one looks at how far we have come thanks to the achievements and discovers of just a relative handful of humans, it is impossible to deny how much further we have to go to allow more people the chance to cultivate or unlock their talents and intellect.
What are your thoughts?