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Does History Ever Change?

John Turnbull

Posted on March 19, 2018 10:57

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Musings on the similarities of past and present headlines.

I have an old oak dresser in my bedroom that I have had for years. Like me, it needs some work but still looks pretty good. Lining the bottom of each drawer is newspaper, newspaper that has been in there since as long as I can remember.

Recently I ran out of socks (it was a wet week) so the second drawer was empty after I pulled out my last pair. I happened to look at the newspaper that was lining this particular drawer. It is dated January 29, 1971 (geez, I'm getting old!).

Two headlines stood out: "Economic downturn causes loss of jobs" and "Freak Storm Ravages East Coast". So back in '71 there was economic unrest and environmental issues. Sounds awfully familiar; couldn't these be headlines from today?

One can go back even further - to the 1900s, 1800s even the 1700s and see the same parallels: Civil unrest, Russian/American souring relations, Far East threats. So why has humankind learned nothing from the past? Are we incapable of absorbing past blunders and adapting our behaviors to rectify these recurring problems?

Or has the Human Condition become too conditioned? Technology, instant worldwide communication and time has failed to wake us up. Maybe it's because in sleep we can dream, and it's in dreams that hope re-invents itself. Or maybe we are incapable of true learning. I mean, there's no app for that. In my dreams, I hope that humankind can wake up.

John Turnbull

Posted on March 19, 2018 10:57

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Source: USA TODAY
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