Sunday, August 29, 2010

Revisionist History

I know someone who has a habit of revising history.  When he tells the story of an event, he frequently tells it in a way to may everyone involved in the story come out looking as good as possible, and to make the outcome be as good as possible...

This person is trying to be a very kind man, but sometimes his revisionist history masquerades the truth about events and can be harmful.  I understand that he does this because he does not want any one's feelings to be hurt.  But sometimes his revisionist history allows people to not take responsibility for their inappropriate behavior.  And, allows them not to face consequences, and not to feel pressure to change.  When you are the recipient of this revisionist history, sometimes it is nice to be "let off the hook."

I recently read a book of poetry Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser It contains a poem called "Tectonics." This my favorite poem in the book, for several reasons.

I am fascinated by the geological theory of plate techtonics, which explains continental drift, how continents were built,  how the earth renews itself.

The poem "Tectonics" explains how our memories of life change over time and perspective.  More gradually than someone doing revisionist history, but still along the same principles. This is a normal phenomena, and is not bad. And as our memories and perspectives change, so do we and our world.

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