Morning Lessons

While watching the film War Horse, I couldn’t help but think of the following quote by George Santayana:

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I’m not the oddity I believe I am.  There are people out there who are similar to me in thought process, aesthetics, interests – well, you get the idea.  The fact that the movie War Horse was even made is a testament to the fact that in the great big world, there are people who are interested in, or even fascinated by, World War I – the Great War, the War to End All Wars.  Looking back, how naive could we be?

Since WWI, there was WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and currently the War On Terror; and these are only American wars.  Yet, as a species we seem bent on the destruction of each other for some type of dominance in this world which has become increasing small with population increases and the global connection via technology.

This post has gone through a variety of changes.  initially, it was going to be about my interest in history that seems long forgotten by so many.  Then it morphed into a question of forced intellectualism, comparing War Horse to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (yeah, I know, I know…).  Just prior to this last incarnation, it was turning into a discussion of technology and how with great advancements in one arena, we have lost much with intrapersonal relations (i.e. talking to one another, face to face).  Now, is it to become a rant against wars and the dream of a global federation where we work together to promote mankind as a whole and advance together as a species instead of focusing on advancing one group at the expense of another?

No, that’s not what it’s going to turn into.  I really would like us, human beings, to learn.  I want us to learn the importance of remembering the past – especially in a world where “old” is two months ago.  Watching War Horse, I was able to focus on other elements of the story beyond the WWI setting mainly because I am aware of WWI.  Am I an expert?  By no means, but I am aware of it, the implications, the changes brought forth from the technology developed during the time of crisis.  The same goes for other events, both horrific – like war on any scale – and inspiring.

This awareness has to be balanced though – especially personally.  I have a tendency to want to know “why.”  Maybe that’s why my love of history is so important to me – I want to know why we are where we are, how it happened, what events shaped this moment? It can be overwhelming when it comes to life on a smaller, more intimate scale.  I want to know what I’ve done wrong in relationships in order not to repeat them: know thy own history or be doomed to repeat it (my own paraphrase).  Yes, I assume that I’m the one who has done the wrong the majority of the time – whether it’s true or not.  Still, I want to learn from those mistakes, make myself a better person so the next time around I have grown.  Not everyone sees my questioning things that way and that’s fine.  Some even find it morose and it can be.  Seeing something I want to succeed fail or falter is heartbreaking and no one wants heartbreak to repeat  – not on a small-scale, not on a larger scale.

As a world, we should take note of what the past teaches us.  It’s a grand scale kinda thing.  For ourselves, as individuals who will shape the whole (community, country, world), we have to take note of the past and move forward.  This is easier said than done – I know from experience, so you can trust me here.  It gets easier every day to see why we are here now, how it happened, and what events shaped this moment.  The important thing is not to forget completely.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Once more....

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: