Thursday, January 6, 2011

Repetitive History

   I’ve been really enjoying a new book about how the history of the Middle Ages as we know them came to be. What has really amazed me about this is how some of these historians and their accompanying philosophies had a tunneling effect, one reflecting the other back and forth over and over. In the end, their entire world was filtered through these ideals and they started to formulate their current ideas of government, ethics, societal structure, and economics based on an empire of the 11th or 12th centuries.

   I love history. I love studying history, especially the Middle Ages. It’s not just the romanticized ideals of chivalry, knights, and codes of honor. Instead, it’s more of the massive changes and upheaval that people went through and how they very much prepared the foundations of our own world. Still, I also understand that I cannot make the world around me function like the world at that time.   
   Our filters and perceptions of what reality is and should be, is not only influenced by historical and cultural mores. It is also impacted by our personal decisions, expectations, families, and other circumstances. We then look out at the world around us and it is as if we are wearing glasses that change the way that we see. For these historians, it was viewing the world through the records about the empires of Frederick II, Otto III, and the common law foundings of the British Empire. For you, it may be television, books, family, friends, work, etc… In the end, we have to be careful what filters we put in front of us, to choose those which are wise and good.