I get weary of and wary when community leaders start touting the virtues of knowing history. Makes no difference if it’s a conservative touting the questionable virtues of the Framers of the Constitution, or a progressive reminding us how liberating an ass whooping on a bridge in Alabama can be. History, unfortunately, is used to create a prison for those living today.
History is used to keep our thinking inside a box whose parameters are modified by the people telling the story in order to keep our thinking in check. It is amplified by the false narrative that in order to know where we are going, we need to know where we or ,more accurately, our ancestors came from. To that I say, poppycock.
I don’t look behind me to see where I am going. That’s how you get in an accident, the accident being the application of an old, out-of-date, irrelevant way of doing things to the problems faced today. When I am considering moving forward I consider the environment I am in right now and envision the environment I want to be in should a thing called “tomorrow” ever materialize. History is populated with many events that have ocurred and when placed side-by-side with an unclear or unforseeable future, history starts looking more certain; more comfortable.
We shouldn’t look to history for comfort. A minimal amount of time should be spent dwelling on history lest we lull ourselves into believing that we the living are compelled to relive it for the sake of the dead or the ailing. Observe, quantify, and document today’s problems and come up with solutions that help move you toward your vision….
….. the dead have already had their turn…..