Wednesday July 31, 2013
“To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps, to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love, and die. The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrows, is always a measure of what has gone before.”
Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, civil rights activist and yes, openly anti-Semitic Ms. Walker reminds us here that we have individual and collective histories. One can embrace and learn from our forebearers or, following some aspects of popular culture, we can act as if we were some kind of originals.
I’ve become increasingly interested in history; my personal history, world history and even economic history. I want to learn from what came before, what worked and what didn’t work in advancing opportunity, relationships and peace.
The philosopher George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." There’s some real value in reflecting on that piece of wisdom. The recent success of books about Lincoln and JFK by Bill O’Reilly indicates a renewed interest in history when the stories are told in an engaging, lively way.
What are you reading this summer?
With love and respect,