By Bill Yeargin
We are living in a time that reminds me of eras we read about in history books but never thought we would experience. During this challenging period, it might be hard to imagine any good coming out of what we are experiencing, but history teaches us that good comes out of even the most difficult situations.
Many years ago, I read a book called The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael H. Hart. The book was fascinating, and I was intrigued that the author identified the second most influential person in history as Isaac Newton.
Newton, one of the smartest people to ever live, was selected as number two in the book because he discovered many of the principles that modern science and mathematics are built upon. We would not live the life we enjoy today with modern technology if it weren’t for Newton’s discoveries, which triggered the scientific revolution.
What many people do not know is that Newton made his discoveries at home on his family farm in “quarantine,” while England was ravished with the bubonic plague. His time alone to think during the plague resulted in the development of calculus, prisms, gravity and many more discoveries that changed the world dramatically.
Many people also don’t realize that a few decades before Newton’s discoveries, William Shakespeare was also sent home from London during a plague and did some of his most creative thinking/writing/work during his “quarantine.”
I am not in any way downplaying the suffering COVID-19 is creating and I clearly do not think what we are experiencing is good. It has been very sad to see so many people suffer and loved ones lost. I am deeply saddened for those affected and I will continue to pray for everyone hurt in anyway by COVID-19.
However, there will be many significant and unexpected consequences of COVID-19 and some of them will be positive. I have written and spoken often about being a “learner” and, even during our challenges, there are opportunities to learn.
It looks like the weeks ahead will be challenging, but, while we cannot imagine it today, we can expect something good to come from this chaos.