As we grow our bodies change. And that reference is not just to our getting to adulthood. We are constantly growing and changing until we aren’t. Until we are dust.
Every day people die. Reading the news, we become complacent, change and often death becoming too familiar.
On the brighter side, moments in our lives present us with the ability to reach out to others, learn about the wider world we live in. The pandemic has accentuated the cocoon, though it also provided a time for us to read widely, talk to people we didn’t previously make time for, look deeper into our own lives, our own health and find gratitude. “Smell the roses” I guess.
OPENING UP is a familiar phrase in the political world we live in. BUT TRULY, it should often apply to us. We need to find ways to OPEN UP to the other: people, ideas, places, vocations, to name only a few.
HISTORY, THE WORD
Looking at the word it truly is HIS STORY. Or HER STORY. When you first see a medical professional, that person takes your HX–an abbreviation for HISTORY. A doctor, a nurse, cannot know how to treat you without a history. So it’s not just a word that students often groan and moan about when teachers move on to that subject.
Every day, all of our actions contribute to our own history. We are living it, creating it. And what is happening in the wider world has a profound effect on our lives, whether we consider that or not. RIGHT THIS MOMENT, people are being born who could possibly change the course of our very lives. Or become part of our lives. Truly, the future is a mystery. But our own history is not.
MY INTRODUCTION TO APPRECIATING HISTORY
It wasn’t a teacher putting a book down on my desk. It wasn’t memorizing dates. I became interested in the history of the world outside my home, neighborhood, when a photo of Queen Elizabeth appeared on the cover of LIFE MAGAZINE. I started asking questions about other places, other people. That brought me to the library where I checked out books, taught myself things about English, Spanish and Russian history.
For others, the world with all of its power and frightening change, might have been a sudden death, an accident, a fire, even the loss of a friend who moves away. WHY AM I LISTING THESE THINGS: because they Shake Up the circumstances within which we live. They are CHANGE AGENTS. They force us to look beyond the bedroom, the backyard, the TV set, the public school classroom.
Each of us is our own history maker. Who knows who will discover another element on the periodic table, or travel to another planet, or discover a medication that will eliminate surgery as the main tool to cure certain cancers.
The world is a wide and wonder–full place. Each of us is our own combination of walking histories. With the power of communication, we have shortened the time needed to educate ourselves about opportunities and advances. That is history IN THE MAKING.
I decided to write about this topic when I saw people disregarding the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, people degrading him, taking one or two mistakes in his life and deciding that was his SUM TOTAL. No. It’s not. 99 years is complex. We make mistakes and we do what we can to make up for them. No one of us reading this can incapsulate the 99 years of Prince Philip’s life. We can’t even do that about our aging parent or grandparent. What we can do is read about the span of a life to see how that person responded to change. How that person rose to do good things, better things.
WE ALL HOPE TO BE THE PERSON who uses the gift of life to become a better person, to change, to reach out and be thankful for the opportunity to do so.
WHAT IN YOUR LIFE made you realize that we are only here for a while, that we need to do good things during our lifetime.