Days of Change

The History of History

September 21, 2014

It’s kind of sad that people look at history like flashcards. They associate events as dates and sequences of events. We know when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but do we know he failed in his stated mission? Do we know about his subsequent voyages or how his Christian faith drove him? His given name, Cristoforo, means Christ-bearer.

Do we know what life was like 50 years ago that didn’t involve a Madison Avenue advertising agency? How about 100 or 200 years ago? A decade ago, PBS had a stable of reality shows exploiting the meager realities of living in the past. The participants had to deal with it for all of 10 weeks.

I find myself thinking about the past lately. In the quest to make things faster, thinner and smarter, we seem to have stopped looking for the meaning of life. In the past, life meant survival. It could mean more now, but it seems to mean less.


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