“History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” —Robert Penn Warren
I stumbled across this quote recently. It is my favorite because, let’s face it, we do not learn from the history we study in school, so we end up constantly repeating the same mistakes our predecessors committed. Back in my country, we would say that we do not realize how hard a wall is until we bang our heads on it. We learn by our personal experiences.
I experienced a civil war, discrimination, hatred, and ethnic cleansing, among other atrocities. These experiences made me stronger, but more importantly, they gave me a fuller understanding of human nature. We all are capable of great deeds, but also of evil ones when feeling comfortably anonymous as part of a tribe or hidden behind our social media accounts.
This month (November 2023) Utah Stories presents stories of past discrimination as well as present ones. The stories where the past is honored and celebrated include rejuvenating and frequenting a hundred-year-old theater in Ogden; a story of Utahns not succumbing to a fire that destroyed Park City, but instead, rebuilding it in all of its former glory; stories of overcoming addiction and saving lives, both human and animal.
We hope that Utah Stories will help you reflect on our not-so-distant past, and hopefully, we can collectively face a brighter future with all the courage and determination of our predecessors.
Stay tuned for future stories.
Featured image by Dung Hoang.