Once the news stories broke about pulling 6 Dr. Seuss books from publication due to racism, a flood of emotional posts, comments, and videos arose to combat the decision. These are my thoughts surrounding the situation.
I have always been a lover of history. I am not exactly sure where it came from. It could have stemmed from a few great teachers I had during my time in the Texas public education system. It could have sprung from watching my stepfather read every single word on every single informational plaque while we visited new places. The seed was planted, and from it grew my desire to learn about the past.
To learn about and appreciate history is to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. How did humans get to our current state of being? Many of us grow up hearing some form of the famous quote:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
― George Santayana
Humans can be wonderfully kind. Humans can also be wretchedly cruel. It is between these two mentalities where most humans operate. In my experience, as a child, I learned about different cultures and understood them to be alien species in faraway lands. As I grew, I was blessed to have friends of many different cultural backgrounds. This only deepened my desire to learn more about human cultures and their various histories. Some systems of thought may try to separate and divide people. But the fact is, we are all human. We all suffer. We all love. We, humans, are more similar than different across the world.
In our digital world, people can lie to build up a false image of themselves. I am sad for these people. To live an honest life may be a difficult road, but it is full of freedom. Where there is openness and honesty, there comes understanding, forgiveness, and eventually trust. Let's be open about our feelings, discuss, and find healthy solutions to our problems.
I don't want to bring up my children in a false world. I believe it is important to see a progression of history, be it full of good and evil. If we cover up and forget the events of the past, we are not only lying to our future generations but also disrespecting those who suffered through these past events. The poor souls who lived and died through times of chaos deserve to be remembered. A life is special and unique. Every single one had and will have a story. Whether or not these stories will be passed on is up to us.
There is a time and place to share knowledge, and I believe children will give a clear signal when they are ready to learn about certain events. There is no need to force history onto children, they will eventually desire to learn it for themselves. Why? Because humans are curious. Our curiosity must be satisfied.
Our history is important and should be remembered. The more we learn, the more we will grow, and the more we will love. I will conclude with one of my favorite quotes.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
― Mark Twain