readings (15)

7 June 2012

Who was history written for? On quotation marks, ‘what ifs and buts’ and everything else that separates us from the Apes…Part 3

‘If I were you, I wouldn’t be me…’

Why would I even say this?

Better still, why should I even say this?

The answer lies in reflection – the ‘what if’s and buts’ of history, without which we’d never be able to reflect effectively…and this is what separates us from the Apes apparently – the ability to reflect, hypothesize, etc…

Take the need to quote others…

…in general, I’ve got a thing about quoting others, the use of proverbs, old wives tales, etc.

I wouldn’t say I’ve got a problem with people for doing it, I just wonder why we still feel the need to reflect on what someone said over 2000 years ago and still consider it relevant enough to live our lives accordingly.

Apparently, or so it’s told, some guy said a lot of stuff once that we’re still repeating and quoting…

…how mesmerizingly weird is that?

Of course, it starts and ends (sort of) with history, written, recorded history to be precise.
What's interesting about history in this context is that it’s as much part of our present as our past and this is because we bring it into our present – something the Apes don’t do…least not to the same extent anyway.

In short, history doesn’t go away because we don’t let it and we are forever recreating our past in light of what we know now.

In other words, we reflect and re-reflect through our and others experiences.

So what has this got to do with quoting others?


My issues with quotes is not necessarily in what was said at the time (I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express it), but rather in the fact that someone else would feel the need to quote what was said by someone else to somehow make sense of their own situation.

The situation, or context, in which someone says something is not our own. So, why do we take what someone says IN context and repeat it OUT OF context?

I love History and always have. I find it fascinating and it does tell us something about who we are and helps us make sense of things in the present.
Some would argue that without the past, there would be no present and to a certain extent I agree, but why repeatedly dig it up and re-contextualize everything we have now in it's shadow?

I'm a revisionist. I critically assess my present in terms of the past, I reflect and I realign how I do and think in terms of what has happened.

But above all else, I'm a 'nower' as opposed to a 'knower'. I live in the now as much as is feasibly possible. Why spend time reflecting when you could spend it doing, living the moment?

It's a chewy topic and I'd love to offer you a bite!

Thanks for reading!


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