Now vs History
This is by no means a political blog, nor do I intend for it to be, but I felt the need to write a reflective post as my heart and mind have been heavy over the past
24 hours 7+ months. In researching my family history and that of others, and seeing history being written today, I must speak up.
I’m an Independent. Sure, I’m rather socially liberal but conservative in many other ways. I don’t believe in “sides”. I believe in individual beliefs that are formed by one’s own mind vs the siding of an entire party’s beliefs. Period. I form my own ideas and thoughts and cannot follow one single party with 100% devotion. Sometimes my beliefs do evolve and change with discussion and perspective. If there’s one positive I can take from this challenging time, it’s that I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gained perspective across the board; better understanding why people feel the way they do (whether I fully agree with it or not).
As I spend my time researching ancestors, American History as a whole throughout the decades, I’m getting an up-close and personal view of the trials and triumphs of the past. I look at their mistakes and endured hardship as inspiration to continue their legacies and truly do better.
Learning a lot of what our ancestors have done to build this great nation over hundreds of years has been absolutely awe-inspiring and fulfilling. Genealogy has evolved from an occasional hobby to a full-fledged passion. Sadly however, I can see firsthand many of these accomplishments being essentially “undone” in just a year or two. We have officially become the “Divided States of America”. With propaganda being spread by every side imaginable, rights are being threatened (or for many, they’re at least perceived to be) across the board. With that, fear ensues. Fear turns into anger and anger turns into hate. Some claim it’s an “us vs them” situation but holistically, I see a “now vs history” battle. We are now fighting what our ancestors had already fought so hard for and/or against.
While social media has been the center of my career (I work in digital/social marketing), I know that it has been a leading catalyst for hateful divisiveness, rampant misinformation and assumptions which have been been ignited by the recent turn of events and leadership. My question is: Will we ever get back to some sort of “normalcy?” There is never a “normal” for everyone but a normal where divisiveness (whether encouraging it or needing to defend against it) isn’t what leads our lives on a daily basis?
Some of me wants to run from this mess but then I think back to all of our ancestors and of this country’s history (both well-known and personally uncovered) and all that we’ve achieved. Reflecting on that, I’m compelled to stay put and fight for what’s right. For me, this means standing on no other side but the peaceful, non-hateful, non-violent side. More of us need to set aside the anger, fear and sadness and try somehow…. somehow to encourage and promote understanding and viewpoints. Naturally, we should fight for injustice but keep a balance, in that way are still open-minded and accepting of respectable free speech and not the hateful, fear-mongering “free speech” we keep seeing. I encourage everyone to get off of the internet (where so many of us quarrel and cannot truly listen) and get to people in-person to share real-life experiences and to allow them to share theirs peacefully. It’s much easier said than done, of course. Sometimes I believe genealogical discovery can help a lot of this…. perhaps people can stop for just a moment to see how we’re all connected? It sounds Utopian and a bit “kumbaya” but Genealogy has opened a lot in my life and allowed for more discovery and understanding as a whole. I will continue to promote it as a way of understanding. Here’s a video I shared not too long ago on my post entitled We Are All One Race: Humanity….. we need more of this.
History will remember. Let’s correct this, somehow, someway. It’s now vs history.