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Day 9: Post some words of wisdom that speak to you
Way back when I was a freshman at Wayne State University, every journalism class required you to write a book report. Some professors found clever ways around it and others ignored it altogether. In my journalistic style and grammar class our professor told us to choose a book and review it similar to how The New York Times reviews books. The other catch was she wanted it to be a book about the area of journalism we were interested in. At the time, I wanted to get into magazine or newspaper publishing and the closest I found was a book by Jason Epstein call “Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future.” Yes, it was about book publishing but some of the words on the first page stayed with me.
“Without a vivid link to the past, the present is chaos and the future unreadable.”
I’m a history nerd. I’ve always loved looking at old things be it a book or a painting because they always tell a story. In my antique book collection I have “The Picture of Dorian Grey” with the previous owners name in it and I have walked through many art museums staring at paintings that likely once sat on a palace wall as historical kings and queens built or ruined empires.
Everything has a history. Billy Joel has a song called “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in reference to nothing we do is new when it comes to making history, we just build upon what already exists. It’s a catchy song with a message that likely flew over everyone’s perm when it came out.
A key part of understanding what’s happening in our world now is picking up the discarded history book. It’s funny to me how many people just don’t know…period. There are many people my age who don’t know when World War II was (as in the time frame), don’t know what Kennedy was known for, don’t know what the Berlin Wall was, don’t know who signed the Declaration of Independence, don’t know how the United States became involved in Vietnam and don’t know the original 13 colonies.
For the most part, I think people don’t care. They can Google the answer if they need to and put it on a flashcard if they need to know for a test. Seeing as my generation is what I call the “iGeneration,” understanding how to use our technology and make it better is more important to them.
Who cares how the technology got to us in the first place?
I too wonder at people who don’t know the history. I am an Indian in my late 20s, and I still know everything from WWII (it was in my 10th grade syllabus) to Kennedy to Vietnam. And I have never been to the U.S.A! There are people who don’t know anything about recent Indian history too…say a 100 years from now. How can they breathe without knowing where they come from? And when I say this, I mean the world, not just their country. Wise observations indeed.