Lessons from the Iceman

June 14, 2012

The season of Ötzi’s discovery (Fall 1991) was a very impactful time in my life. Just three days after stepping off the plane in Vienna, Austria, I heard the news of a married couple who had found a man, frozen in a glacier between South Tirol and Austria, near the Ötztal. The story of the oldest man on earth tore through the media. While I perfected my German that fall, the rest of the world was uncovering the mysteries of man.

A confluence of events led to his discovery. The glacial ice melted away just at the point where the Iceman was found. His belongings, as well as his body, were so well preserved that we were able to learn that the Copper Age started a full 1,000 years earlier than scientists had originally thought. And the married couple? They spontaneously decided to take the route they did.

Fate? Fortune?

In my view, everything unfolds exactly as it is meant to. The magic of life requires nothing other than to simply dance to the unfolding. Why resist new ideas? Brilliance may be just one ice cube away.

New scientific discoveries are exciting and serve as a reminder that we must frequently reconsider our own belief systems. Gallileo and Einstein are two major paradigm-shifters that come to mind.  Challenging the status quo takes courage, but if you know something to be true, then there’s no denying it.

So good Old Ötzi had to wait 5,300 years to be discovered. Obviously, he’s a patient man. And a frozen one. On view at the Ötzi museum in Bolzano, Italy. It’s well worth a visit, if you’re interested. And don’t miss the artist’s sculpture of what they think Ötzi must have looked like. It’s hauntingly realistic. If you peer closely, you might just see him wink!