Friday, October 21, 2016

A Little Bit of History Goes a Long, Long Way

So, I regularly speak with young people, ages 16-25. And what they don't know shocks me. I know, I know, we've been complaining about the next generation since Socrates had to drink hemlock for "corrupting the youth."

But that's the point. So few of those young adults that I speak to have even heard of Socrates, much less that his was executed by being forced to drink hemlock. Point of fact, the entirety of the history of Western Civilization (not that WC is more important than others, but one should be familiar with the history of the culture you live in, yes?) seems to have passed them by in schools.

I feel like Professor Diggory - "What are young people learning in schools these days?" (If you don't recognize this quote, you seriously need to read more children's fiction.)

Knowing history is important. You can't make comparisons if you don't know what's happened before. You can't decide that you want something better if you don't know how bad things can go, or how good they were. If you can't make any valid analysis, if you can't make any comparisons about what's happening now to what might happen in the future, then....Living in a vacuum of information in the present should literally TERRIFY people. Why doesn't it?

Not sure how to fix that, if I can do anything at all. But thanks for reading.

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