Greatest Achievements of Mankind
A list of great achievements by mankind.
1. Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
A work of art that has captured the imagination of humanity. The mysterious smile, the penetrating eyes. The air of mystique surrounding the Mona Lisa cannot easily be explained but, it is more than just a supreme example of renaissance art, it encapsulates a unique spirit.
2. The Works of William Shakespeare.
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. "
Despite producing one of the earliest body of works in English, few have come close to matching William Shakespeare's mastery of English in articulating the poetic range of human emotion and experience.
3. Ave Maria - Schubert / Bach
It is music which has the greatest capacity to lift humanity from the ordinary earth bound thoughts and emotions. The loftiest music can touch the psychic core of man and expand the consciousness of man. We could have chosen from the works of Beethoven, Mozart, or countless other musicians, but, Ave Maria remains one of the loftiest pieces in the pantheon of music.
4. The First Flight
The Wright brothers finally achieved man's eternal quest to achieve a powered flight. The short flight in 1901 revolutionised air travel in the twentieth century and remains one of the great technical achievements.
5. The Development of Vaccines.
For many centuries, the life expectancy of man was very low. Life was hard, short and painful. The great advances of medical science in the nineteenth and twentieth century have allowed people in many developed countries to have a much greater life expectancy. Some of the most important discoveries included the first vaccines developed by Louis Pasteur and the advent of Penicillin in the twentieth century. Perhaps our next greatest achievement would be ensuring access to this knowledge is widespread amongst all people on the planet.
See also: Greatest modern inventions
6. Man on Moon
It was a great scientific achievement to put man in space and then land on the thin atmosphere of the moon. It shows the horizons of man are not limited to this physical earth.
7. Four Minute Mile
Any great sporting achievement could have been used here. To run a marathon in close to 2 hours, is perhaps an even greater athletic achievement. Alternatively, we could have chosen the fastest 100 metre time of Usain bolts in under 9.6 seconds. Yet, no sporting record is more iconic than the first mile run under 4 minutes by British athlete Roger Bannister. For many decades doctors and learned people had suggested it was physically impossible for man to run a mile under 4 minutes. But, once Roger Bannister had broken the psychological barrier many others soon followed. It showed the spirit of self-transcendence intrinsic to man.
8. Climbing Mount Everest.
On May 29th, 1953 Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay finally conquered the crown of the world reaching the top of Mount Everest. At 8,848 Metres, Mount Everest is the highest peak in the Himalayas, the Nepalese name it Sagarmatha - meaning Mother Goddess of the world.
9. The Great Pyramids.
Conventional wisdom suggests these were built with slaves, but, this view has become increasingly challenged. The truth is that there are many ancient structures such as Stonehenge which defy modern science even centuries later. The Great Pyramids remain a mystery but, they stand as a colossal and imposing figure in the sands of Egypt.
10. Michelangelo's Pieta
It is a work of art which captures the beauty, poignancy, poise and emotion of the greatest human dramas - love divine and love human.
Declaration of Human Rights
After centuries of religious persecution, injustice and disregard for human rights, the acceptance of human rights enshrined in law is one of the great achievements of modern history. Some of the earliest declarations can be seen in the US constitution, drafted by Thomas Jefferson. In the twentieth Century, the United Nations declaration of human rights cemented its importance for modern history.
The Olympics is one of mankind's greatest achievements. It can bring people together from all over the world, and promote international friendship and individual achievement. Although it has been marred by political protests in the past, recent Olympics have shown the capacity to unite the world. At the 2012 London Olympics, a woman represented every country, for the first time.
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