Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Big Steps Backwards

My wife and I own two houses, one of which my mother was born in, the other of which she died in.

Two hundred yards down the road from where I type there is a cemetery filled with Edwards', Gwaltneys, and Jones'--my family for many decades. Just past that is the small country church that Daddy's family has attended since it was built during Reconstruction. Two hundred yards in front of the church are remnants of the earthworks of the Civil War fort known as Fort Bee. Just on the other side of the gas line from the trenches stood Mokete, a Warrosquoyacke village where John Smith visited in 1608.

What do our reconstructed colonial and Indian structures have to do with horses? We are an educational institution. We seek to teach. Over the years I have been shocked by how little even my brightest young riders knew of the past. Lack of understanding of the past assures lack of understanding of the present.

Of all of the young people who have visited the horse lot I have never had a single one who knew who Emmett Till was. Such a failure in their historical and moral education hampers any understanding of today's world.

Things would be different in Ferguson, Missouri today if those on both sides knew who Emmett Till was.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The old saying is cliche..and like so many of them..very true.

Those who cannot recall history are doomed to repeat it. The joke was, back when, if you cannot remember history, you will be in Mrs Stromberg's class again next year. (Would not have killed me, She was the best teacher I ever had...and she was horse people.)I would not have disappointed her for the world.
The reality of the statement though is quite a bit more sinister, Every civilization goes through upheavals and change...we fail to remember them, and their effects at our risk. Wars are fought, which need not be, People oppressed, whether overtly or systematically, infrastructures fail when they should have been replaced years ago...No need to get into too much detail here, it is all there in history, its examination an exercise for the student.
Learning to train a horse sharpens the mind, and one's ability to control and utilize one's emotional energy more effectively, and teaching history in conjunction with horsemanship...well now..
The thing about is a powerful drug..pull a string in the tapestry of life and more and more questions open up..The idle "Now, why on earth whould that bone head attack all those folks at at the Greasy Grass?" can lead one to read everything available on the subject.
No one who had done so would have allowed the police presence in Ferguson to go so far wrong to start with. Emmett, Rosa Parks, Dr. King, and countless thousands of others throughout history have their stories to tell to countless millions yet to come.
School teaches about Paul Revere and his midnight ride...but not about Betsy Dowdy and her sturdy little banker horse..Besty was far cooler..she should have an action figure.
Ever cook with a Revereware pan? Good aren't they? Did you know that Paul Revere was a silversmith by trade?