This is the motto I’ve lived, for the past 26 years. Though I didn’t discover the sculpture with its message until I visited Washington DC in 1998, the study of history and mythology have filled my days since 1992.
History discovered me way back in 1966. Mythology grabbed my attention in 1970. Yeah, before most of you were born. So let’s say it. I am well grounded in this culture of Western Civilization. I love this way of life, though recently, oh, in the past 10 years or so, things have gotten shaky. Too much self-loathing among Westerners who have taken to the idea of self-flagellation.
I’m not into such things. I’m into joie de vivre. Acceptance is healthy. Knowing what to change is gold. Knowing what to walk away from is platinum.
My answer to those who think the world needs fixing is for them to fix themselves first. If we all fix ourselves, the world will be a much better place. To those who think they can fix the world, well, that’s a bit of arrogance, eh? How do you know you won’t make it worse than it already is? History gives us lesson upon lessons on how the do-gooders turned unpleasant situations into something messy.
I am not guilty of the things my ancestors did, and I am not the victim of the things that were done to them. I study the past, I don’t live it. I study the past to enlighten myself and others. History is important to who we are as Westerners. Mythology is important to who we are internally, which is to say, the way we think.
Our history is a shared history. It’s the glue that is supposed to bind us. Progressives hate the glue, conservatives romanticize it, and many folks don’t know it. The result is that we are unglued as a nation.
That ain’t good.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll have remarks on the tearing down of old monuments, and the removal of paintings, of the past, and what that means to us. I will ask the question; why is it that some students are not able to study certain pieces of Western literature? Why does it make them nervous? Why is it Westerners have a difficult time accepting themselves? Is it guilt or remorse, or a bit of both?
Our mythology, which means our stories, are what they are, for a reason. Westerners behaved in certain ways because they loved to invent and build and discover. They were not perfect. But neither were the Eastern cultures. Nevertheless, immigrants pour into the West, not the East. That is exhibit A, the proof in the pudding, that the West has something wonderful to offer, in spite of its flaws. We will look at the West, the good, the bad, the excellent, the ugly, to understand ourselves more.
Next, I’ll take you on a mythological adventure, of how the West was born of Greece and ancient Israel.