I banged my head against the wall for a long while, trying to figure out whether it was “old” or “new” that worked better.  Eventually, I realized I was asking the wrong question; I should have been wondering how to apply time-proven principles to modern contexts. 

Someone who can do that isn’t wedded to doing things “just because,” regardless of whether the “just because” results from the newest trend or the oldest dogma.


7 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I’m sure there are “time honored truths” such as “be kind” and “love thy neighbor,” but often one historical context can’t be placed upon the other, such as when American Library Association dropped Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name to a prestigious children’s literature award because she used language refering to indigionous people and African-Americans within her native context of the late 19th century and they judged her by the now established standards of the early 21st century.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually believe that’s why enduring parables are so abstract; because the more a truth endures across time, the more vaguely you have to phrase it so it can be adopted to a different contexts across eras and cultures. In the Ingalls case I’d speculate that her intent and the ALA’s is actually same or similar: to propagate the truth of love thy neighbor and be kind to others. But due to modern context, Ingalls’s intent was no longer viable, and the ALA took appropriate action (haven’t dug deeply into this, but so far this is how it seems to me). So in this case, I’d argue that the ALA was actually going by the time-honored truth of encouraging the propagation of kind behavior, which ironically, obliged them to outwardly oppose Wilder, who I think might have been trying to do the same thing in a less sophisticated era. (Irony is another time-honored truth, I think.) That’s my take on it, anyway. I haven’t done the research, admittedly.


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