“Life can only be understood backwards;
but it must be lived forwards.”
“Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today.
Let us begin.”
― Mother Teresa
(a hodge lodge of broken bits and pieces of stain glass, Bunratty Castel / Co Clare, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)
We are not like the generations of the past, you and I.
Those generations before us were often forced to sacrifice, often having to go without.
They were brave yet they would not consider themselves such.
They were merely living the best way they knew how.
Yet we look back to the past and those prior generations…
and what we find is not often to our liking.
So we think that maybe erasing and then rewriting what we don’t like..
Thinking that will make things better…making us better.
We decide to use the lenses of the 21st century to rewrite perceived wrongs of the past.
But what we don’t understand, don’t get, is that those wrongs of the past,
weren’t exactly wrong….back there in the past…or at least they were not perceived as such.
It’s what seemed right for that generation of then…not necessarily for us here in the now.
For good or bad, that’s where it is…or rather where it was.
In the past.
Rewriting it, altering it, hoping to hide it, won’t change it.
Our overt political correctness and our joining of hands in kumbaya over all things tolerance
cannot change what was…no matter how hard we try a re-do.
Flags once flown,
Anthems and songs once sung
Stories once told
Monuments once erected
Wars once fought
all the fodder of the hopes and the dreams of a people now gone.
Do we serve them well by replacing them with us?
In someways and in some laws…perhaps…
Yet we must remember that they are not us, nor are we them…
Their’s was a different time.
Perceptions were different.
People were different
Lands and maps were different.
Hopes and dreams were different…
We can’t erase them, their lives, their moments…
simply because we no longer agree, see eye to eye, or possess the same filters of sight.
Yet we are allowing the loud voices of today to force our compliance in a desecration of a people that simply once were.
History is that….history… as in the past.
We learn from it, we can correct it’s mistakes in our today’s world but we can’t correct what was then in their world…
No matter how we try.
We learn over time…
We learn from experiences and mistakes…
We hope to learn not to repeat the same mistakes of the history of those who went before us.
We all have dark histories that we are now none to proud to bear.
But part of our responsibility to both those of the past, as to all of us now as to those who are yet to be, is not in hiding what was, whitewashing it into a nonexistent netherworld…
but rather to see it for what it was, good or bad, learn from it and then not to repeat it.
If we whitewash over everything,
pretending it never existed or offer a shoddy job of trying to rewrite it, trying to fix it to meet today’s standards, then we risk a far greater calamity in hiding or changing the truths of the past by exchanging them for the hopes of the future.
It is a dangerous job to pretend things were different when they were not.
It is dangerous to erase what was while changing it in to what is…
because what was can never be what is…
but it can be repeated…with a greater degree of ferocity…
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.