'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'- George Santayana
There is a value that can be gained when we take a step back and look at what has come before us. History opens up the possibilities for discussions on topics that aren’t necessarily easy to come forward about.
That is history’s greatest reward, the ability to not memorize facts, or dates or scenarios but to allow us to open dialogue, to ask questions, to question those who came before us, and to not allow us to make the same mistakes as those that came before.
All of our actions have consequences.
Six simple words but strung together should have a giant impact. We have to be skeptical, we have to learn from both sides, we have to realize that everyone is biased in their own way and it has to be questioned.
“We swim in the past as a fish does in water, we cannot escape from it.” Historian Eric Hosbawm.
It seems like the world is being run by a ton of toddlers right now on who could point a finger at someone faster than the next. Suddenly one person’s values and thoughts are more important than another and if you speak up against that then you are in the wrong.
The idea that if we just start removing statues and or signs that represent parts of history that we aren’t necessarily proud of that it will all just go away. The Civil War isn’t going to have not happened just because they’re no longer standing. The ramifications of the past are still going to be there.
History isn’t going away though. You can’t just sweep it under the rug.
You know what all of this teaches you though?
What people are capable of doing to one another.
It shows us what happens when hate, bigotry, violence, racism and indifference shadows what is really in front of us.
We however have the power and the ability to not do the same thing. We have the ability to correct that. We have the ability to not allow the things that are separating us to continue to drive a wedge in our society.
We have the ability to be the difference, to stop fueling the fire because that’s all that happens when rage, anger, hurt and all these emotions all bottled up into one do. We should be channeling that energy in a more positive light.
So perhaps we do need that history lesson, the one that puts it all back into focus. The one that reminds us we are all just trying to make better lives for ourselves and our families.
We can do better and we have to do better.
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