Daresay - Deb Meissner

Daresay - Deb Meissner

You can’t change the past by erasing it

Deb argues that we should learn from history not try to censor it

If you look back at your life would you change anything? If you could go back is there a moment or event that you might do different?

Granted, I have done some pretty stupid stuff in my life, but would I change anything? No, is my conclusion. Every choice I have made, every action I took has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t be the same.

Do I have regrets, of course, I haven’t been a saint. The ‘I wish I would have, could have, should haves’ make me wonder at times, but given the chance, I wouldn’t go back.

I’d like to think I have learned from mistakes as I move forward, and lessons of the past have taught me not to make the same choices or look at things the same way.

History is like that, you can’t go back, but you can learn from the past.

As a society, we have sins of the past that haunt us. But if we go back and try to erase them, we miss the lessons and run the risk of making the same mistakes over and over. You have to acknowledge the past, make amends, understand it, educate yourself about it, so we can move forward with a better and more complete understanding

I don’t agree with the current trends of erasing the past. I think there is danger in that. You can’t cancel or remove your way out of the responsibility of the past.

It is important. For our children and grandchildren to understand where we have come from, to not treat each other the way we used to.

Men, women, our planet, our understanding is different. Cutting out books, taking down statues, cancelling out people we don’t agree with, makes no sense. No one grows if we are not challenged. We should strive to constantly learn.

The colour of your skin, the culture you come from, the sexual identity you embrace, the politics you believe in, the religion you practice are all opportunities for us to learn from or teach each other about and shape our world to be a more accepting and understanding place.

If it was proven tomorrow that Columbus was not the first person to come across the ocean and find the new world (which I personally don’t think he was), I don’t think they should throw out old history books, I think they should be kept to see how our understanding of the world has changed.

If you want to rewrite history to be more “acceptable” in 2021, where would you start?

The idea of going back to change things to be less offensive seems like going down a rabbit hole. I mean Winnie the Pooh doesn’t have any pants on, but should we take him off the shelves?

It seems to me we have big challenges to deal with right now, and yes they are about race and rights and climate change and a plethora of huge issues, so looking back and cancelling, rewriting or whatever you want to call it, makes me think we haven’t learned a thing.

It’s a pretty slippery slope, just like going back into our own past, where each of us enviably made stupid decisions, and asking us to apologize. We are doing that from our point of view now and everything we have learned up to today.

When I look back, I certainly am not the same person I was. I don’t think the same, I know more than I used to. I’d like to think I, along with everyone else keeps evolving, changing, learning, making progress.

I would not change where I came from, not interested in cancelling my past, and I wish the world would just get on with the bigger tasks at hand.

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