May you live in interesting times.
– Fake Chinese curse
Yes, this fake thing again. Why? Because it inspired me to create my own curse.
May you live long enough
to know history’s judgement of you.
Now, technically, this is likely impossible, although some centenarians might feel the cold stare of society’s judgement on their youthful activities, statements, and beliefs.
It’s much easier to judge others than myself; it’s a whole order of magnitude easier to judge historical periods other than my own.
Where does this viewing of history through the prism of modern-day feelings end? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once gave advice to a gay young man that today would be heresy. King suggested he battle his feelings, strongly implying that the young man needed therapy and sexual reorientation. Today, that kind of advice gets one branded a Neanderthal. President John F. Kennedy, frustrated with a high-profile Democrat who hadn’t supported his election, threatened to banish him by giving him an obscure ambassadorship to one of the, as Kennedy put it, “boogie republics” in Africa. Tell that to Black Lives Matter.
History is complicated. And history requires perspective and understanding, something sadly lacking in those who seek to erase history by imposing today’s standards of right and wrong.
– Larry Elder, The problems with politically correct history
In case you’re wondering who Elder is, he’s an American conservative, libertarian flavour. He’s a few weeks older than I am. And he’s black.
Perspective and understanding: That seems like a good place to start. And if we start there, who knows where we might end up?
Thanks to J.L. Whitman for the link to Elder’s article.