Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Historical, not Hysterical, Perspective

How large is your rear-view mirror?

I’m not thinking about your car when I ask that question, but let’s start there. All our cars have mirrors installed so we can see behind us. We cannot imagine, though, driving based only on what we see in the rear-view mirrors. We were taught in Driver’s Education always to keep our eyes moving, to be constantly checking our mirrors and the entirety of the view before us as well.

Can you imagine driving a car with more than half of the forward view taken up by the mirror? Would you be willing to attempt to drive a car that has only a rear-view mirror and no windshield?

Several people in different settings have said to me in the past several weeks what a tragedy it is that so many people today don’t seem to know anything about our history. I believe it was George Santayana who said that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Last week a study was released that claimed today’s American citizen knows The Simpsons better than the Bill of Rights. Surely we are historically challenged.

On the other hand, it seems to me that all some people see is the past. It really isn’t that I am tired of hearing about “how things used to be.” But, since I am old enough to personally remember the 60’s and 70’s, I find it interesting that life really wasn’t as fine and dandy “back in the day” as some would have us remember it as being.

Are there lessons to be learned from our past? Certainly. I think it is important, though, to remember that the proper sized rear-view mirror does not block one’s ability to see forward.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger Richard H said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Mark Winter said...


The past is a great springboard, but it doesn't make a very good resting place.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Steve Heyduck said...

Excellent word picture, Mark. You should consider communicating for a living! ;)

Mark's Website is http://onemanshow.org.


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