“Memories are the key, not to the past, but to the future”
Corrie Ten Boom
It is 2016, we have smart watches and fast food and air conditioning.
There are thousands of years before us. Thousands upon thousands of other people who lived and breathed and worked the land of this earth. The world would not be the way it is today without their ideas and their inventions. Without the sweat of their brow we would not have cool rooms and instant french fries.
Often times we don’t give a second thought to the past. We push to the future, making more synthetic foods and faster cars. We have even gotten to the point of making artificial intelligence. Computers coated in plastic skin blur the lines of what is real and what is fake. The plunge to get bigger and better sometimes skips a beat, crumpling in the sand, especially when we don’t take care to look into the past. The keys to the future dwell in memories of world changers and major events, not hand-sized computers.
We must put the shoes of figures past on and walk around for a bit. We need to understand the challenges and the wonders of their lives, what made them tick and what made them smile. Their lives tell us just how life is done. If we pay attention to their memory, then we will not make the same mistakes they made. Perhaps we will grasp the beauty of their time as well, understanding the sacredness of antiquity.
If you got a chance to sit down to have a cup of tea with someone in history, who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
He would sit across the table tall and stately with an almost majestic, yet humble demeanor. He would confidently sip his cup of tea (or coffee) and listen keenly, soaking in the heart of the conversation.
Questions to ask him include: What is the first thing you do in the morning? How did you make decisions? What do you think about the United States now? Do you forgive your shooter? What does freedom mean to you?
His voice would echo years of experience, reverberating into the future and shaping ideals that we hold today. Without his presidency, there would be a divided country and we know that cannot stand. Best of all he would be present with nothing competing for his attention. A glimpse into his life can give a person a new respect for smallness.
Every drop of tea will be sipped because hours will go by. His hat will remain on the coat rack as we discuss the deeper issues of life. One generation of keys will be passed on to the next generation with locked doors.
That is the respect and attention history should receive. Who knows, we just may find the master key.