“The more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future.”
The man at the microbrewery seemed likeable, and my husband and I were enjoying his conversation. Then the man mentioned moving to a place that sets my teeth on edge. I know the details of this town’s atrocious past.
I mentioned remembering that place’s history. But the stranger said he preferred that the kids who flock to the downtown candy store and swim in the nearby lake not know about the town’s past.
I agree that kids need to be emotionally old enough to handle history, particularly difficult events. But to deny them the knowledge that bad things happened in the past and in their hometown? Isn’t that part of life, the good and the bad?
I personally am enriched by the stories of struggles and losses and triumphs. It tells me that my life is just like others. And I learn that I’m lucky too, for I haven’t experienced the devastating effects of the Great Depression or felt the fearful uncertainty of WW II.
This week on Facebook I posted about Susan B. Anthony, whose family had all their worldly goods up for sale after the economic downturn of 1837, including underclothes and eyeglasses. It must have been overwhelming and embarrassing, and yet it did not stop her.
Susan B. Anthony is one of my heroes.
If we don’t talk about history, how will we know who our villains and heroes are?