Changing the way stories are told

“The history of the world is but the biography of great men;” thundered the high Victorian Thomas Carlyle. Don’t times change. These great men, on closer scrutiny and judged by our own times, often become war criminals, common thugs, or chaff thrown up briefly in the wind of fortune’s wheel.

For a long time things did not appear to change much: “The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men,” Thucydides had written circa 440CBE; but the seeds of change had already been sown by Confucius on the other side of the world when he first formulated the Golden Rule: “Never do to others, what you would not like them to do to you.”
Confucius was not a success by worldly standards, but his political failure has been the world’s gain. While he occasionally worked in menial posts, he mostly wandered, cultivating kindness and friendships along the way.
How can we move towards a new history – one that recognises the unique potential of each individual, while being strong and brave enough to stand against those who harm others?
This history is too vast for anyone to know it all – so we can only approach it with humility. Like the great ocean that encompasses our world, we can sip a small portion, after it has been refined and purified, evaporated in our thoughts, and rained in words and deeds.

The history of the world will be told in themes, movements and progress towards the understanding of dignity, self-respect and freedom. People will research different types of stories, new excavations of ore. Motherhood, childhood, teaching and nurturing, growing, cultivating, love, nature and science. The simple breaking of jaws and shedding of blood, will ultimately have a minor archive, in the sub-division of war, under the curious category: crime.

Advertisements