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We Are Not Perfect June 12, 2016

Posted by Peter Varhol in Uncategorized.
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I hate this topic, though I love history. Much of what I initially learned of history in the public school was a recitation of dates and prominent people.  The people were largely presented as unabashed Good People, working to further the positive goals, or at least those ultimately accepted by society (the winners write the narrative).

As we learn more, we also grow. We hopefully learn that history was not as black-and-white as it was presented in the eighth grade.  The pack of lies that we learned at twelve are replaced by a slightly more complicated lies at thirteen, and so on down the list.  The intelligent among us try to balance the lies we are taught with the perspective that comes of the historical context.

As this article states, Woodrow Wilson, a president who was a segregationist, albeit an idealistic promoter of world peace.  Shall we damn him to Hell?  Apparently some think yes.

Martin Luther King, Jr., who is almost universally revered for his telling words and sacrifice during telling times, was clearly not a saint. Shall we anoint him nonetheless?  Once again, some think yes.

I wish I had that kind of certainty in life that our teens have, now on the date of my 59th birthday.  This is not nearly as difficult as what we are trying to make it.  People are, well, people.  I am certainly not a saint, much as I might like to be canonized, and nor are you, at the beginning of your life.  You may think you are, but reflect for a minute or two, if you are able.

So stop it. Stop trying to tell me that you are the morality police, and that what you say goes.  Life is more complicated than you may be able to imagine.

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