There's a disturbing trend taking place in our country I believe is detrimental to our growth and progression as a nation. It has to do with the attempted removal of history by some organizations and people throughout our great land. It stems from the "cancel" culture becoming more and more prevalent in today's society. The idea is this: Find something you deem offensive or at least not in line with your way of thinking, and "cancel" it. Blotch it out. Pretend it never existed. If you don't agree with it, it deserves to be eliminated.
This may be in the form of removing statues that honor the heroic acts showcased by certain men and women that helped lay the groundwork of this land of the brave. It may come from the halls of defiance, which brew discontentment and view anything outside of the current generation as outdated and worthy of discarding. No one and no thing appears to be immune to this type of scrutiny and judgement. If you step on the wrong toes, you may risk being the target of the next assault.
To some, this may seem like a miniscule issue—not worth a second thought or concern. We are traveling down a slippery slope if we choose to allow this type of illogical reaction to become commonplace in our society.
There are a couple of reasons why I believe it's crucial for us as a people to not only honor our nation's history but to be proud of it.
First, many imperfect men and women have given their lives to help establish the opportunity for millions of people to experience the "American Dream." While there are major blemishes in America's past, there are also signs of repentance and progression. For every sin, like hundreds of years of slavery and oppression, there have been beautiful accounts of change and revival. Amazing, God-fearing brothers and sisters have risen up to fight injustice and bring into alignment God's heart with His people. Many hindering laws and constructs have shifted in order to truly establish the fact that all men and women are created with equal value. These stories showcase the forward trajectory of our nation and dispel any notion that we are unwilling to change broken parts of the system.
Second, it's the great melting pot of ideas that makes our country one of the greatest generators of wealth and well-being in the world. It's a place that, for centuries, has provided opportunity for free thinkers to build and create and dream. It's made room for people to shoot their best shot and has given grace when they've missed the mark. It truly is a place for free people to live free. There are seasons when going with the mob seems to be the easy response, but the people who rise to the top are the ones who think for themselves and their families.
On a recent episode of the Next Level Podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network, I have a conversation with homeschool mother of three Cari Kelemen. She discusses the importance of parents taking a more active approach when it comes to teaching their children the truth about history.
When asked why she chose to homeschool, she responded, "History has become revised. That was another big one for me. Being able to pick their history books and teach them what I thought was important for them to know," she explained. "When I was in my 20s, I got to study in London for a summer. I was taking history and English, and I recognized a lot of the poets and monarchs and things that were buried in Westminster Abbey. But I walked right past the statue of someone I learned about years later when I started homeschooling. And that was William Wilberforce. He was the member of Parliament that ended slavery in the entire British Empire. ... I didn't know who he was at the time. ... Years later when I went back there with my kids, we made a beeline to go visit the statue of this man. I thought, What a difference between my two visits to this Abbey. And it was all because of what I knew about history. Somehow, William Wilberforce slipped through the cracks in my education, and I was unaware of who he was."
America also has a great story. Filled with attempts and failures and successes and redemption and messes. Like the human race, our great nation has prospered due to its willingness to repent. We can question the amount of time it took to make each change, but we cannot cancel or disregard the times the evil was thwarted and love prevailed. It's okay to recognize the injustices of the past. Our history is our history. Grownups and children alike can see it, understand it and learn from it. America's past is both enlightening and offensive. We can learn so much from either perspective. Our history is worth preserving. We will learn, we will grow and we will shine.
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