A Million Years in A Day – How to Live a million years in a day?
A Million Years in A Day written by Greg Jenner gives a profound relevance of our day-to-day activities and explains how each activity is being performed since multiple years. It is not some conventional history story that talks about wars, politics or mindset at that time. Rather it is the history behind one’s day to day life activities, one million years in the making.
The author jumps straight to the topic and explains how human history impacts our daily life and day to day activities such as brushing our teeth, cooking, eating, reading newspaper, shower, meeting friends,getting dressed for work. These activities might seem monotonous and insignificant but you will actually be surprised to know that these simple daily activities are thousand and million years old.
Our insignificant daily activities goes way back and they took about millions of years to become what they are today
In the first part, author Greg Jenner talks about toilet and time keeping activities and states that they have been a part of human existence since the stone age. The Egyptians were so smart that they used to guess time from the movement of the sun. The first calendar to be ever made was found in the Dordogne region of Le Placard and is actually thirty thousand years old. It was made up of an eagle’s bone.
This makes us realise the importance of alarm clocks and digital calendars. Now let’s talk about the next thing we do after we wake up. Yes, you guessed it right, going to the toilet. But do you know the sanitation activities practiced almost 9,500 years back were filthy and unsophisticated. The invention of sewers, clean water and wiping techniques only came 4,500 years back. Researchers found out that before this people used to pile up the human waste in their courtyard. It was also discovered that some french considered bathing to be a waste. They believed in wearing linens to freshen up. This practice was discarded in the eighteenth century and bathing made a comeback.
Now that we have talked about waking up, taking a toilet visit and sanitation practices, let’s move on to breakfast next. The bread that we eat today is a concept that developed between 10,000 and 2,000 BC and the multiple varieties of eggs that we eat today were actually discovered in 1400 BC in Egypt. Also, the Kellogg’s cereal or corn flakes that we love were actually made by fluke.
If the history of our daily activities fascinates you and you want to know more about them, then you can read the book summaries and audiobook summaries which are available on various book summaries websites.
The modern facilities that we take for granted today were invented after immense hard work and perspiration
A Million Years In A Day next provides a detailed account of the practice of clothing. This practice started in the stone age but only as a means to cover one’s body. After a few centuries, the dressing habits evolved in Greece and Rome. Both men and women wore same length tunics to cover their bodies for a very long time. The trousers and shirts were still not developed until the nineteenth century. Do you know that the pants and t-shirts that are so common today went through a series of evolutionary stages before reaching where it is today?
It was when American cowboys started wearing pants that they actually became popular among the common masses. Something similar happened with the T-shirts as well. In 1913, the T-Shirts were made part of the standard US Navy uniform. Then it became popular among athletes who started wearing them as underwear. T-shirts became an actual rage after a Hollywood movie star Marlon Brando wore it and showed off his well-toned muscles in a white t-shirt.
The idea of influencers and influencer marketing can be seen here. Though the terms are relatively new, the idea of influencing the masses and people around you dates way back.
The next invention that the author talks about is oral hygiene. Multiple researches show that dentistry was practiced in the Stone Age as well. Mehrgarh in modern Pakistan is believed to be the world’s first dental clinic. It is more than nine thousand years old. The first toothbrush was discovered by the Chinese and it was made up of pig bristles.
If you still think that these daily activities hold no importance, then it is essential that you read the book summaries and audiobook summaries in order to understand the importance of these activities.
Here are some key takeaways from A Million Years in A Day: The daily activities that we think are insignificant and simple are actually luxuries if compared to the previous eras. After reading this book, a person realizes the importance of these simple yet unavoidable habits.