Invention of the wheel is indeed a mighty one. We travel the world today with the help and assistance of the wheel with or without knowing how it came about. All we know is to hop onto a taxi or a car and off we go scooting to where we should be for the next appointment, the next game and the next movie. But the wheels have indeed come a long way.
Believe it or not, the wheels were firstly created not for transportation according to a Smithsonian article titled A Salute to the Wheel. About 3,500 BC, it was created for use by the potters instead of taking us from point A to B. Only about 300 years later were they used by the chariots. Its presence was then found across the globe from Greece, the Byzantium or Islamic world and over to China.
The article also cited that the wheels has had quite a fancy history:
- It was used as a wheelbarrow.
- It was cited as an ancient Wheel of Fortune of sorts by the ancient Greeks or Romans where Shakespeare also later coyly mentioned “thy wheel”.
- It was used as a punishment and torturing device.
- The Roulette actually means small wheel in French.
- Where the Ferris Wheel was first created to outshine the Eiffel Tower, really!
- Motion pictures also use the wheels as part of the movie making mechanism.
From our little tricycles to the top-speed car races, the wheels have morphed into a great tyre technology where even the leading manufacturers will vie for the coveted Formula One contract from Europe to Asia. But the best thing that has happened from its creation is that we can now traverse cities and borders from our own little wheels to the planes that carry us into the skies, whether or not we’re a race car driver ourselves.
Even so, as mighty as our wheels are today, the greatest of all creations and one that was created around the same time is perhaps one that is immobile and fragile to the shocks, knocks and bumps. Created out of polished copper around 4,000 to 3,000 BC in Mesopotamia and later through polished stone about 1,000 years later in Central and South America, and again remodernised into today’s version in Germany back in 1835 by Justus von Liebig according to an article in livescience.com titled Who Invented the Mirror?, the mirror may precede that of any creations found on earth….well at least in my books it is. There could be a few reasons:
- It provides a reality check to how great, or not, we are.
- It provides a reality check to whether our barometer of care, love, generosity and righteousness are of genuine and respectable standards.
- It provides a reality check to investigate if we are who we think or say we are.
- It provides a healthy reflection of ourselves without fear or favour and it certainly hides no flaws nor perfection.
- It is an X-ray if you will about what’s inside us because what’s inside is reflected outside.
- It also provides with great clarity whether what we expect of others are leveled against us the same way. In other words, are we being fair to others in the way we judge them.
So mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
I’d say, without the mirror, we may not have come this far. Why because after dreaming and envisioning a future of greatness, a future of great inventions, we need the mirror to inspect ourselves again, and again, and again, to ensure we walk the path we say we’re going to walk on and to sing the song we said we’re going to be singing. Because life ultimately is not about inventing the next piece of machine for greater efficiency or productivity but rather, it’s about reinventing ourselves to be the best that we can be.
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net