Monday, December 26, 2011
Take Advantage of History in the Present.
Many people live with the fallacy that everything which is here now will always be here. Students of history know that is the farthest thing from the truth. The world is a changing place. The weather changes. Landmarks which seem permanent can be wiped out at the whim of nature. Entropy lays it decaying hands on the world around us.
Depressing, sure as heck it is, but it is just the natural cycle of the world. We see it every year in the trees around us. Now, some things are relatively constant like trees, but some things are not. Natural landmarks or man-made creations such as local monuments. They may seem to be holding time at bay, but truly they are not. These things should be enjoyed in the present.
I just read an article which displays this point perfectly. Ancient Roman pillar collapses at Pompeii villa. Now on the onset you may say, 'Yeah, that is a shame'. Think about it though. There aren't any people who can call themselves citizens of the Roman Empire alive today. Therefore, there aren't going to be any more villas constructed dating to that period. All we can do is try to preserve the ones we have left.
I understand that jaunting over to Italy is not going to be high on everyone's 'to do' list. For many a trip to Egypt, Greece or anywhere in the classical world is probably going to be a once in a lifetime experience. That doesn't let you off the hook though. There are places right in your own backyard that you can take the advantage and visit. You might not think that they are as awesome as Chichen Itza or Hadrian's Wall, but it is your local history. I see that personal ownership as actually making it more important. This is what you have to show the world. Be proud of it! It is only relative opinion which says one landmark is more important than another.
This past year has been very chaotic weather-wise in my neck of the woods. I have had tornadoes, a hurricane and a blizzard roll through. We were lucky that the damage to local history was minimal, but it could have been far worse. Don't assume that these places are always going to be there. Between nature and man the world is chaos when it comes right down to it. If you appreciate history then take advantage of it in the here and now before all you have is memories and photographs.