Embracing the good things of the past does not require for us to embrace the less good things as well. It is possible to cherish the good, and leave the bad as a remnant to gather dust rather than a relic to invite worship.
Learn from History rather than Ingest the Myth
It is not erasing history or rewriting history when we acknowledge that history if full of imperfect people. Nor is it protecting history when we whitewash over the sorrowful things imperfect people did or wrote before better practices and choices were available.
What we should strive not to do is to celebrate the bad as well as the good. We should carefully evaluate what history teaches rather than simply ingest the tale that we call history.
Oh the wonderful things my daughter says. We were having a very intense (pleasant, not contentious) discussion on a topic both confounding and current, when she summed up the situation in fabulous fiber artist form.
“It may be called a Cashmere Rabbit, but that doesn’t make it cashmere.”
A nation’s success is dependent on its people having an understanding of what makes it successful. Authoritarian governments seek success through suppressing information, and through spreading misinformation. In a democratic republic where the people have the right to vote, it is vital for information to be shared and debated. Discourse, preferable civil discourse, is essential for national success. However, too many people, who enjoy the benefits of a democratic republic, seek to hide from discourse. For whatever reasons they may give, at the end of the day, they are seeking to hide from the very responsibility they have in the maintenance of their nation and its success.
It is interesting to see so many supporters of capitalism and small government cringe.
Capitalistic exploitation of cheap resources and labor has provided a stable livelihood for many who have never felt exploited because of the protections their grandfathers voted for when robber barons last ruled.
Realization that they have become this cheap labor causes worry to build among these supporters of small government. They realize that their livelihood is controlled, not just by the modern robber barons of their own nation, but by the robber barons of foreign nations.
They realize they might need protection from the government they believe is too big.
The human story that shreds the heart of so many, also seems to bring out the vile ugliness of others.
When people feel a burning need to promote and protect themselves at the expense of another, we see the ugly nature of humanity in its fullness. Turning away from this ugly sight does not absolve one from its contaminants. Like an insidious disease, you either fight it or succumb to it, you do not simply ignore it hoping it will go away.