History is Made in Moments but Experienced Throughout Time
I have a bug in my head, and its urging me to study up. I have the feeling that I need to study up on my history and to avoid social media and the news at all costs. It’s not hard to be overwhelmed by absolutely everything, it’s not hard to have your opinions solidify, or to fortify your respective camps with righteousness. I wonder if others in the past felt this way when confronted with momentous events, felt like shoring up and doubling down.
I am taking a wider view, and taking the time to ponder and reflect. I am looking back to what has been in the past, reflecting on the present and scrying the possible future. It’s quite the meditation, with history being made daily and in ugly sweeping gestures, on dates that will be remembered. But history always rhymes, right?
And I figure, people have gone through crisis and survived many, many times in the past, so maybe I will find insight in the struggles of those who have come out on the other end of history. Maybe I will gain context and wisdom to bring into the modern day. We need it.
But I found more doom and gloom, what could I expect? A lovely romantic history novel for older ladies? For a hero to suddenly appear and quash the rising tide of orcs? As much as I love those sorts of novels, that’s not what history is really like. History is dark, it makes you uncomfortable, and it’s much easier to romanticize it. It is reality that has been rewritten by the victorious. Many did not survive. History may not repeat, but it surely rhymes.
I was thinking about all this jazz and studying up on the stages of civilizations (The Eight Stages of the Rise and Fall of Civilization) when some remnant of a quote popped up into my head. I must have paraphrased some literature I consumed in the past, for this idiom is not found readily on the internet (to my surprise);
“History is made in moments, but experienced throughout time”
Maybe it will be my first famous quote? It’s true as far as I can tell. Especially in the modern era of the internet and cell phones. We can all experience the history that was made in mere moments, captured on a smartphone, for weeks and months after the moment had passed, and it feels like we are right there.
I figure history has always been like that to a degree. Chaotic and wide-sweeping in the moment, analyzed afterwards, and word of whatever victory or tragedy spread far and wide in the aftermath. But without technology? It was probably easier to be ignorant. It is nearly impossible to avoid historic moments in our current time, but it is no easier in understanding them. Give yourself some space to experience history, to appreciate the wider picture, and to ground yourself in the mundane reality of your life. May we walk through historic moments with grace.
What has your experience been with experiencing history? It takes time to reflect on it, doesn’t it? How does this pattern change in modern times? Does the victor still write history?
Thanks for reading! Check out my previous musings on current events but without specifics, such as Why do we Praise the Dissolution of the Ego — An Idea (by Ingenious Piece) — Medium