I think we would like our pasts to be simpler, I certainly would. I think it would make you feel happy or sad or something unlike the way history usually makes me feel which is tepid. We’re not out here judging dinosaurs for their dated gender roles and mating seasons and feathers, so why do we do the same for human history? There were bloody wars, droughts, famine, slaves but there were also abolitionists, revolutions, harvest festivals and peace.

It’s a whole spectrum of things that happened in the past and I don’t know how others feel about it but it’s tantamount to bigotry to me to condemn wholly past events. If you are not willing to shift perspectives and understand how things were in whatever the time period, then you’re not willing to learn and are projecting your guilt or lack thereof on your ancestors.

History is not science and we shouldn’t pretend it is, it has highs and lows and love and laughter and shame and death. What to do with history is not to focus on its low points only or its high points only. I’ve learned that you take from history what you want to and it gives you what you ask of it.
So don’t ask history about its skeletons in however many closets, ask about how they made grand artillery pieces like the trebuchet and ballista. Ask of Tchaikovsky who gave Russian ballet the prestige it holds to this day, and find that your one ancestor that liked watching wild ducks fly as much as you do. History is messy so none is without blemish.

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