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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  1. we seem to have stopped looking for the meaning of life

    It’s undeniable that “cool” and “glitz” are the essnce of meaningfulness for millions–how else to account for obama in the WH–but I don’t know that it’s ever been much less superficial.

    But I tell you this. The emptiness of excess that so far marks millenial Western culture will lead to a longing for regimentation, which is the fertile soil in which Islamic funamentalism will become alluring to those sated with the anything-goes paradigm of political correctness.

    Comment by Mary — September 21, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  2. Muslim numbers in the US are growing faster than the Unitarian Church. Social animals need some amount of order. When you end up with chaos, any horrible dictatorship can thrive.

    Comment by 1539days — September 22, 2014 @ 12:08 am

    • Exactly. And Islam will succeed in the US because Sharia is an anyidote to chaos, a cure that is infinitely worse than the dis-ease.

      Comment by Mary — September 22, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

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