Witness – Thru the Lens of History and Culture
These discussions come up from time to time. How grandpappy or grandmama did some thing they would be d-listed for today. But in their time, everyone else was doing it. So why wouldn’t they? So shouldn’t we just shake our heads and move on with our day?
But then along come the rabble rousers and dreamers of that day, who rightly say, but we didn’t do that thing. Why do grandpappy and grandmama get let off the hook? It didn’t have to be that way. Well yes, but grandpappy and grandmama they just weren’t wired that way. They did as they saw folk around them do, and they put their own thoughts away. It’s not like they had power, money or time to change their day. They were too busy and obedient to do more than put their one foot in front of the other. Like their family had always done.
Then along came the shiftless and the moon-mad and said yeah but we didn’t do that either. And grandpappy and grandmama would be defended by saying in their day that kind of behaviour got you warehoused in a workhouse, jail or asylum. And they didn’t want to live that way. I mean, can you blame them? Those places were so horrendous that books and libraries have many stories about them.
So now you’re looking for excuses, like the people who came across the seas and deserts who brought new thoughts and grandpappy and grandmama should have listened to them. Maybe so but ‘those people’? They just didn’t move in next door to grandpappy and grandmama, did they? So you may know of them, but realistically …. did grandpappy and grandmama ?
Well the books were everywhere, you scream! Thinkers and sages were everywhere. I can’t argue with that. But grandpappy and grandmama could barely sign their names. Let alone read classical philosophy. I mean. I can barely read it and I’ve been to university! So aren’t you being a little hard on grandpappy and grandmama ?
And they had candles or oil lamps to read by, not rooms full of 100 watt bulbs or screen lights on their devices. Grandpappy and grandmama would scream, rebuke the devil and call the priest at even the suggestion that these things might exist some day!
And grandpappy and grandmama’s folk had to travel for days to see a guy about a pair of glasses. READING WAS HARD for grandpappy and grandmama.
So do we and can we really blame grandpappy and grandmama ?
And even now we know the world and nation leaders don’t want to be changed. And those who try/ied were ones who were willing to put their necks in nooses. And truly, was that who your grandpappy and grandmama were?
If so, bully for you! You had an amazing grandpappy and grandmama! They just weren’t my kin folk.