I love history. But it is sometimes difficult if not impossible to live with. So much cruelty, so many stupidities, so much greed, such indifference to suffering. The big stories that everyone knows, and the small stories that have been forgotten; equally important and equally discounted as “over.” Are they ever over? What can we do about the past today? How can we, who were not involved in the evils of the past, make sense of it, or make amends? Should we? Can we? Perhaps all we can do is remember.
This is why I love the books of Eduardo Galeano. If you have not yet read his latest book Children of the Days: a Calendar of Human History you are missing something magical, infuriating, inspiring, and activating.
Each day he gives us the truth of a story that was buried by the powers that were and that now the world has forgotten, but which should be remembered. Yesterday’s (November 19th) entry is about Joe Hill, the songwriter and agitator for workers’ rights, who was executed by firing squad this day in 1915 in Salt Lake City.
Don’t forget to remember the truth, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Galeano shows us why this is important.