Learning From Our Past…

George Santayana said, “Those who forget history are destined to repeat it.”

I am a student of the Bible.  The Old testament records people’s lives and what they did.  I learn a lot from reading about their lives.  I am forever indebted to the faith of Noah, who, in the face of a whole world (and we don’t really know how big it was at the time) who probably laughed at him, built a huge boat, when it had not yet rained.  The bible says he was a preacher of righteousness, but as far as we can tell, no one was saved except his boys and their wives.  He would probably not be considered a good evangelist by today’s standards.  I am indebted to his faith in the face of persecution, because that means I got to be here.  I admire what he did.  He is a model to me.

Another of my bible heroes is Joseph, the son of Jacob.  Unjustly treated, thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his conspiratorial and jealous brothers, he did well in Egypt until Potipher’s wife couldn’t get her way with him. She accused him unjustly and he went to prison.  He stayed there quite awhile but seemed to prosper because of his character.  Then one day…to quote the words of a teacher…a shower, a shave, and he was on the throne.

I learn important lessons  from these “forefathers” of the faith.  I believe it behooves us as a people to look at our past as a nation in order to glean for answers to our future.  I also believe it makes sense to look at the socialist systems other countries use, to see that they don’t work well for anyone, except those at the top.  If we are paying attention, the answers are all around us and in our history.  There is nothing new “under the sun”, to quote another author (Solomon).  We have no new problems per se.  It is audacity that ignores past experience in its quest to forge  a “new” answer, or a “new” America.  America has a rich history of people and events to glean from. I believe there are answers to today’s problems right there in the decisions that our ancestors made.  From our vantaged viewpoint we have the luxury of seeing how those decisions worked out, what worked and what didn’t. America’s foundations don’t need rebuilding…the foundations are the best in the world, freedom of the individual, equality, the free market as enumerated in our founding documents.    What America needs are responsible citizens who love the nation and with a keen sense of history, with all the courage it will require,  to stand up, follow the law, and require government to do the same.

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