The worth of a human life is worth pondering these days. We hear so many statistics – how many have died from COVID-19 in the world, in the United States, in our state, in our communities. These are all just numbers and we rarely think of them individually as separate lives, with families, jobs, interests, hopes and dreams. To do that would be mind boggling – the numbers are too large! But perhaps we should…
And I hope we learn from history. Doctors and historians alike mention the HIV/AIDS epidemic thirty-odd years ago to inform them of how pandemics spread. Historians also notice the similarities between the so-called “Spanish” flu of 1918 and today’s pandemic. Both were deadly strains of the coronavirus which cause harmless ailments, such as colds (to which most humans developed immunity centuries ago). And the majority of people who have been afflicted with this novel coronavirus do recover, but we are constantly learning new things about this virus.
Too often we do NOT learn from history. I have heard many people say they “hated” history in high school and in this country, at least, a large percentage of people are woefully ignorant of not just history, but also geography and the events that make history occurring now. To do this is to make the same blunders over and over again. When the president of our country is ignorant of history, we lack the important quality of leadership.
Here is a quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero (Roman statesman, 106 BCE – 43 BCE) that I recently copied on the back of an envelope when I came across it reading.
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to always remain a child…For what is the worth of a human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?
Here are some photos of my ancestors, which I am privileged to have in my possession.