Living in the smothering cocoon of self-indulgence and ego becomes boring in no time. At least, it should if you have a couple of brain cells left to rub together.

Why do you suppose selfish people tend to be cynical, grumpy, and manage to find fault in everyone and every situation, except themselves? Misery loves company. We do wonder if spreading misery is their ultimate goal, where the selfish element shines.

After all, people should cheer each other up rather than dragging them down to the mud pit of self-loathing. No matter what we do, they are pros. Professionally and permanently angry people. It must be hard work being them.

Do you ever wonder what went on in the rest of the world at any moment throughout history? This writer realizes the question seems a bit geeky. But then she does not apologize for thinking outside the ego box.

Hubby and his wife frequently traveled to Oklahoma because both sets of parents lived there.

Christmas, in particular, was an annual crazy roller coaster ride. An abbreviated Christmas at home, followed by Christmas Eve with his wife’s family. Then sometime after midnight mass, they drove to Hubby’s family to celebrate Christmas morning with them.

During the two and a half to three-hour drive, his wife often wondered what life was like for people in the pioneer days. How long would the same trip have taken back then? Since horses could travel around 20 miles a day, they estimated their marathon round trip holiday travels would take two weeks. Longer if by wagon. Oh, the sore posteriors.

Since Texas is such a toasty state during the summer and early autumn months, this writer often wondered how the pioneers survived the brutal summer heat. But back then, most people lived in the countryside on farms and ranches, surrounded by miles of empty land.

No concrete cities existed. Such monuments to civilization came years later. And that is when the population truly enjoyed the hellish weather because concrete absorbs heat and holds it far too long for anyone’s comfort.

This lady has always been a history buff. She reads the biographies of great and, sometimes, not so great people who lived long ago and made their mark on the world. Some of their words or actions reach into our modern lives, as is the case with medical discoveries and advances. Not to mention, the insane explosion of electronic inventions.

Today’s tunnel-visioned and poorly educated folks forget to learn from the past. They only believe in living in the moment and damn the consequences of their myopic behavior.

As the Spanish philosopher and cultural critic and writer, Santayana so eloquently stated: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Unfortunately, the supposedly educated graduates of overpriced universities do not receive a well-rounded education or what used to be a liberal arts education.

Liberal arts education cultivated a well-rounded and free human being. The graduate received broad knowledge and useful skills, including a strong sense of values, ethics, and political information. A significant portion of such education included history and historical facts, not the biased pabulum of recent times fed to malleable minds.

Without a background in the arts, philosophy, language, history, and mathematics, graduates are a mere shadow of what they could be.

So, timelines matter. Consequently, studying and learning from the mistakes of the past is critical in order not to repeat them. “Berlin Babylon” on Netflix is a fictional telling of Germany between World War I and World War II. People focused on the smoke and mirrors erected by the government, which allowed the sneaky rise of the opportunist, Hitler. Distraction from what was going on enabled his rise to power. And the same is true today. Focusing on outlier issues to distract people from the nefarious acts of our elected officials is dangerous.

The Encyclopedia Britannica’s daily email “On This Day” reminds us of what happened in the past. It is free and satisfies the curiosity of those interested in timelines.

Who knows, you may accidentally learn something as well.


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