History classes are wasted on youth. I am way more interested in history now than I ever was as a child. The way they teach history is also such a shame. All of the focus seems to be on wars and generals and dates. There is so much more to know about the history of our world. So many perspectives to learn and understand. There are always two sides to every story and we usually only hear about one – and who even knows if that one is correct?
As adults, we have the opportunity – even the responsibility – to learn more about history. The history of our town, our area, our state, our country. Why did the county lines get drawn up the way they did? How did that town get it’s name? Who decided what the name of that river was and how did they convince everyone else? What native americans used to live on this land you now call home? What happened to them?
The best news is that there are great resources available to us to learn and experience the history of where we live and where we visit. Take the time to check out the ‘historical society’ and small museums of your own home town or a town that you’re visiting. You’ll be amazed at the pictures, documents, newspaper articles, and other written accounts of what went on. Check out your local parks and historical markers. Actually read all of the signs and monuments. Take note of interesting facts or the names of people that you can look up on the phone or your computer and learn more about.
Checking out historical places along a roadtrip can be a wonderful thing. It seems like I always learn something that I did not know before. And, it helps me reflect back on what it must have been like back then and what made people write down that particular aspect of life. What is happening right now in your neighborhood that may be forgotten if someone does not take note? Will the sheer amount of information and misinformation in the Internet water down history for those who come later? What will people read about 30 years from now? Who’s perspective will they come to know? Will it be accurate? It’s hard enough to sift through what is real and we are living it today – I can’t imagine what it will be like to try to learn and understand about this time in our lives 30 years from now…
Perhaps those of us who blog about our adventures and experiences will be a voice that can be heard over and above all of the various media outlets with their paid-for agendas. I hope so.
In the meantime, the next time you see a historical marker at the side of the road – stop and read it. Check out historical walking tours of your town and the next town you visit. Investigate the history of why a town even exists, what industries used to be there and how that has changed over the years. What might we do to bring back the hustle and bustle of a local economy where everyone has an opportunity to be successful, put food on their table, and help their neighbors.
Someday, we will all just be part of history. Maybe if each of us takes some time to learn from what has gone before and individually make a small mark on what is today that can improve things now and into the future; we can have a future that is bigger and brighter than anyone has ever imagined.
How will you be remembered?
Thanks for reading!
Kristi (aka The Trippy Tripster)