History – Just a Story of Dust?

Have you ever felt the sensation of discovering a very old book? That you smelt the dust and that you had to blow away some little spiderwebs? That you realised that you and some other human hundreds years ago were holding the same book in your hands!

To feel impressed that these books, but also buildings and even trees are far older than us. To see this while walking in one of the old cities of Europe. Where the centers are very historic. Or could have been very historic. Because these centers were bombed away in World War II. Like my birth city: Rotterdam. In one hour those killing bombs destroyed the work of centuries. But even that horror happened already 78 years ago !!


(Rotterdam after the bombardment in 1940)

 

Time is like a race car

Time is – for sure now I am getting older – like a race car. When looking back, the dramatic impressions of today are fading like flat lines. And people are transformed in vague silhouettes, and mountains into small stones. Even the loud sounding, ‘all over the place’, people are changed to yearlings of quietness.

So is there some essence in history? Should we study the past? Or is that nonsense? Should our historians deserve to become themselves historic? To ‘die away’ like the dinosaurs?

When justifying their work, you can hear teachers and history scientists say that they are necessary, because we as their ‘students’ can learn ‘lessons’ from history. They seem very certain that we as humans should be informed about the wrongdoings of our ancestors. So that we should be knowing in the present what ‘good’ is and what ‘wrong’. So if that is really true it means that history is just reduced to an expression of morality.

But the question is for me: Are we humans really learning via that approach? Just looking back and saying: ‘Oops, we don’t have to do that nasty stuff’.

Probably? But I think it is otherwise. Indeed we are changing by becoming older. In physical form, but also in a maturing of our attitudes and behaviours. But still in many moments we are only changing our patterns after we have done ‘one stupid thing’ for a thousand times wrong. Sometimes we have to pay attention to the fact that we are making the same error to many times, to feel uncomfortable about it and to realise that something somewhere is not working quite at all.

It is said that the best of our inventions came after many trials and errors. Our most creative inventors were also the biggest ones in brilliant failures and mistakes.

Who writes history?

So why should we be interested in history? Is it functioning like our long term memory?

Hopely, but probably not.

Somewhere I read the true quote: ‘History is written by the conquerors’. It is assumed that Winston Churchill was the one who was speaking those words. I don’t know whether this is true or whether Churchill was just repeating the sentence of an elder person before him.

That history is written and rewritten means that the same ‘old’ stories can be exaggerated many times by just telling and changing the story. There are storytellers who are ‘reinventing’ the past just for there own aspirations of power and controll. Because they are promoting a patriotic, nationalistic tale or another expression of their identity agenda about ‘us’ versus ‘them’. About the ‘good people’ of our group and about the ‘bad persons’ who are trying to invade the beloved ‘paradise’ of our daily sorrows.

History has already a proven, ugly record of those who did manipulate history for their own ‘sakes’.

Telling a clear, consistent story

So yes, we need historians and history scientists to show what the ‘facts’ were of the past. By telling a clear, consistent story which is based at multiple sources. To confront the mendacious narratives that are misleading, blinding and binding people.

Sadly many humans are inclined to believe the stories of collusion. And to listen to the bewitching, simple ‘songs’ about the ‘black and white’, ‘good and wrong’ themes. To believe only the interpretations which are fitting in their own shape of reality. Or which are resembling their own ‘faces’ and fairy tales. Lies are accepted to fit the empty spaces in the own stories and to seal and conceal those narratives for longer times. And after a while it is even forgotten that the modern ‘truths and beliefs’ were blatant lies in the earlier days.

When the perspective of the story is suddenly changed

It was because my history teacher did not want to tell us teenagers about what happened to the jewish people in the concentration camps that I decided deep in myself to go to the library and to find it out for myself. After reading many books I knew for ever. I did read disgusting details that I won’t forget. Never! It was not pretty to get this new understanding. But finally I was knowing!

When do I like history the most?

When the perspective of the story is suddenly changed or when other, vivid details are discovered later in time which change the original story. When heroes are becoming humans, thanks to the eye witnesses who are later on daring to tell the other aspects which we were not knowing.

I most like it when my knowledge is turned upside down. This happened for me just two times, last weeks!

I read in the newspapers about a Dutch biographer who dared to study the life of SS general Rauter (who did cruel deeds during wartime in the Netherlands). But after reading these articles I don’t still know why this man choose to study the life of mister Rauter. For the Dutch readers, you can read here more: Click here

The same happened to me when I read about another controversial, historic person. This male lived in Spain during the Dutch Spanish War and he was feared by many Dutch people in that time. It was Alva, the duke of Spain and he was one of the key actors during the war which dured 80 years!

The bloody war started in 1568 and finally ended in 1648. It dured untill this time that another historian dared to make her choice to study this person, who in the Netherlands for so long was and is portrayed as a brute. For the Dutch readers you can find here more: Click here

Criticism about the choices to study Alva and Rauter

Both historians have gotten criticism about there choices to study Alva and Rauter. Their critics were saying that those two man were not at all interesting persons or that their lives were a taboo to be studied.

But I liked to read about both men. It gave me more understanding of their times. It even did give me some nuance and a little wisdom.

I did realise that even those ‘monsters’ Rauter and Alva were people like you and me. Intelligent, charismatic and having there own personal standards of ‘good’ and ‘wrong’. In their own eyes they were just doing the ‘good’ for their cause and fatherland.

So is history a story of dust? Possibly indeed about dust. Because the strong thought castles of ‘good’ and ‘wrong’ are corroding through time. After centuries the old fashioned bastions of ‘good judgements and rules’ of the past are becoming dust.

And with regard to ‘slaverny’, ‘racism’ and the ‘inequality of women’ is that after many generations really a progress, even when those old thoughts are alas still poisoning the minds of ‘some’ people world wide!

So I hope that more tragic traditions will find the ‘entry of the shredder of today and yesterday’ 🙂 .

The Essence of Life – How Dutch Readers Are Distributing Their Answers

Should there be some sense to stay alife?

After a sudden heart attack Fokke Obbema (55) found himself feverish searching for answers.

As a journalist working at ‘de Volkskrant’, one of the national newspapers of the Netherlands, he choose after his recovery to write a honest, detailed and open report about what happened to him in that nearly fatal night.

After reading his survival story, many people were reacting. Fokke received more than  500 moving emails.

Also I was at Saturday 22 September touched by his story. And also I decided to sent him an email.

Meanwhile Fokke Obbema has made a selection of the most striking reactions of his readers. And it did happen that also a short part of my story was published in de Volkskrant at 11 October (you can search for the name Nico A. Belo 🙂 You will find it).

When you are interested, you can read it in Dutch: Click here

The publication of his first account of the horrible incident, you can also find  here (also written in Dutch): Click here

What A Beautiful Day Today – Will Robots Teach Us How To Love Each Other?

I am feeling it. Today will be a beautiful day.

This day I have a conversation with ‘a friend of a friend of mine’ who is dealing with multiple problems in his life. I am very curious about how our meeting will go. Will it give us Wisdom? Applicable ‘knowledge’ for daily life?

I believe it!

I do believe that this website will give my family ‘enough income’, so that I am not anymore depending at the goodwill or the crabby moods of chiefs at the shop floor. Should it not be the ultimate time for me to be my own ‘chief’?

Why not extend this ‘mastership’ to the terrain of work and income? Is it possible that Freedom & Life will give plenty wisdom and wealth?

New Emerging Economy 
I dare to believe in a ‘new’, emerging economy where jobs and pay checks are less important. Where people are sharing their talents, creativity and ‘money’ with each other. I am so much hoping that my children will experience a time that there won’t be anymore poverty. That every child will grow up in abundance!

Base Income for Everyone
I believe in an economy where there is a base income for all people. Where every person has the choice to be lazy and to stay a whole day in bed or to chase the personally gotten dreams and visions. To risk ‘everything’ and to do the ‘impossible’ (for the benefit of the human race).

When I am seeing how far we already have come in just 500 years I am expecting so much about the times which are near. When I am reading about robots and articificial intelligence I am confronted with my own mixed feelings of hope and fear. I am so ‘hungry’ that the old patterns of doing a job for a living in difficult labour conditions will be ended. And at the other hand I am fearing that robots and ‘self thinking’ machines will overcome us in being far smarter. And why should ‘they’ than not erase us? Look what we have done to the animals, the trees and the oceans. Why should robots be more merciful than us, when ‘they’ are seeing our ‘shortcomings’, and asking rightly ‘how efficient’ we are?

Whizz-kids
But maybe there will be another outcome.
Is it possible that those machines will be the whizz-kids in the things which we as adults are messing? Is it possible that robots will give us an example? That ‘they’ wil become our teachers?
Who will learn us to ‘forget to do’ the nasty things? Like quarreling, doing violence, raping, murdering, stealing, manipulating and all the other dirty acts of us humans.

Finally Delivered from Our Egoistic Natures
Will we all together reach the beautiful day that we can really love each other ‘unconditionally’? That we will be delivered from our egoistic natures? That we have escaped finally irritation, aggression, envy and hate?

Can it be possible that robots will teach us how to love?

And will that lessons than be really a free choice? Or don’t we have than anymore a choice?

Or was the making of choices never an act of freedom? Will there come a moment that we will realise that ‘making free choices’ was an illusion of our minds?

Is it possible that we are far more robotic than we are already ‘knowing’?

Or are we still staying ‘unaware’?

 

Be invited to share your thoughts and opinions with me!

Power of Speech

For years I was wondering about the possiblity of this website. I thought many times about wisdom and my desire to help other people, specially in asking their burning questions. To escape the hush thoughts of our minds, the ‘all is going well’ expressions on our faces and to make the unspoken requests be heard.

Four Weeks
Four weeks ago I started my adventure as Splinter of Wisdom by telling a good friend about mij deep felt wish. For the first time I was hearing myself telling the vision of this site, just by words shaping it and calling it in existence. Listening to myself I felt very surprised. I thought: ‘Wow, would this really be so simple? Why am I not already doing it? Let’s just start!’

Starting Shot
And after the sound of this starting shot the words were just welling up to the surface. All these years ‘they’ had grown deep inside me. And now ‘they’ were ready to come to the surface of my soul. I was just calling ‘them’ out. And there ‘they’ were. Splashing like the bubbles of a deep well!

Wisdom Tribe
I found at internet also more about the Power of Words. With thanks to the ‘Wisdom Tribe Blog’: Click here

King Solomon

As a child I was impressed by the story of King Solomon. It was said that before and after this king no human could be as wise as he. So I kept for years praying: ‘Please, give me 99,9 % of the wisdom of Solomon’. 

Copyright Icon – © Dmitry Shkolnik