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Rewriting History is a Bad Idea

George Grombacher September 29, 2023

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Rewriting History is a Bad Idea

Rewriting history is appealing. We get to erase the bad, and only have the good. But it’s a bad idea. A really bad idea. 

George talks about why this is a trap for individuals, as well as a society, and what a better approach is. 

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Episode Transcript

What interest in times we are living in what strange, interesting times we are living in what terrifying, fascinatingly challenging and interesting, and boring times we’re living in. We’ve got aliens? Are they everywhere? Are they? No? Where? Are they? Are they real? Is this just made up? What’s going on here? Are we interesting enough that aliens would want to come and visit us? If there were advanced species of, of, of these beings out there that could travel across galaxies, and universes, universes and galaxies? Why would they come here? They’re so smart, so sophisticated and light years ahead of human beings. Why would they come here? Because we’re fascinating. Because we do the same dumb stuff over and over again. The African will learn in season 2023 of planet earth, will humans learn from their past mistakes? Or are they doomed to repeat them over and over again? episode one of season 2023 drops. Can you just see, the aliens must see TV tuning in to see what human beings on planet Earth going to do this year. That’s that’s actually, that’s actually pretty funny. That’s a thing. It’s like their reality show. They’re looking at their, at their, at their anthill, or their ant farm. And it’s just us, here on Earth, doing the most ridiculous stuff. Just on every level, being preposterous. Literally, every aspect of of our lives. If we can turn it inside out, or upside down, or just pick it up and break it, that’s that is what we are interested in doing. It’s like we are, we are producing the best TV show for the outside observer that you could ever imagine, which I guess is essentially why reality TV is as popular as it is. And the truth is, more often than not stranger than fiction. But what I wanted to talk about was what is behind our desire to rewrite history? Why do we want to do that? Why don’t we just focus on the present and continue working to progress forward and move forward? Why do you want to rewrite history? Have you ever thought about that? Like, what is behind that? And think there’s a lot going on there. Let’s be obvious reasons are people are ashamed of things that we human beings did in the past. So we are ashamed of bad behavior, we are embarrassed of it. And we think on a more virtuous level have a desire to right wrongs, we are drawn to justice, and we want to see the scales balanced out and we want to help try and make up for indiscretion. That’s possible. And that’s a whole greater conversation. And I think that those are some of the things that are behind our desire to rewrite history. So we’re doing a lot of it. We’re doing a lot of rewriting of history over the past several years with taking down statues and renaming sports teams and just there’s tons canceling people for bad behavior. That’s actually just currently happening as well. And that’s just all part of rewriting history, sort of on the fly, is what this canceled culture is and the censorship is mean it’s absolutely taking values of the current person and applying them to values hundreds years, hundreds of years ago, probably 1000s of years ago. I don’t know how far back we’ve we’ve canceled somebody, but probably pretty far back for being a human being back when they were human beings. And we put our values today on the values of our predecessors. And it’s not necessarily speaking of fair, not necessarily a fair thing to do, it’s certainly not a wise thing to do. I think that rewriting history is very, very short sighted thing. And it may make us feel better give us his warm and fuzzy feelings that I’ve done something good today. Look, look what I did, I took down the statue of Abraham Lincoln. Good good for me. Because why would we want to remember Abraham Lincoln? Or why would we want to remember? You just insert name of person name of human being here? Why would we want to do that, let’s just go ahead and get rid of them. Who is who has been benefited? Who has been benefited by rewriting history. And I think it’s just, it is literally just the person who’s doing it, or just the group of people who are doing it. And only in this very small window of time. That’s it. It is without question, the pursuit of happiness, over contentment, you are simply looking to make yourself feel better, it’s like a dopamine thing. You get your dopamine hit, and then you’re gonna move on looking for the next thing. And that’s part of a greater conversation as well. But you are certainly not benefiting. When we are rewriting history, we’re certainly not benefiting generations coming up behind us to get rid of the messy bad stuff. And there’s plenty of it. But to get rid of it, we are stealing from future generations that they will not get to learn about the good, the bad and the ugly of prior humans. And we’re also stealing from our future selves. When we get rid of our mistakes, we deprive ourselves, or remove the opportunity to change our behaviors moving forward, if we are simply erasing and pretending like things never happened. And maybe that’s not what we’re doing is pretend like that didn’t happen, but we’re getting rid of these things. So it is not helping us there. If there are no lessons to be learned, then there will be no lessons learned. That’s maybe the key thing here. There are no lessons to be learned. And there are no there are no lessons to learn them. There are no lessons to be learned. And when we just decide to erase and rewrite, the way that things happened, well, then we lose out on all that stuff. And that is rarely how we lock in gains. And level up as human as as a human race collectively, is we build upon the good, the bad, all of it. And we go higher, and we go higher, and we learn new things and we get better at it. So going back and white washing or whatever color washing you’re interested in same. rewriting the history, rewriting, rewriting the way things happen to better serve whatever narrative you want to tell yourself or you’re interested in getting fuller and pushing forward is a disservice to really everybody involved. If you could think of it from a more maybe personal standpoint. And I think that that maybe makes that helps to, to really drive this point home. If it were would it be good for you to just erase your past mistakes. Think about it from a relationship standpoint, think about your relationship history, your sorted scattered relationship history. If you could just erase erase, erase all gone. Melamed then maybe you never did date, the same guy or gal 10 different times. I know that they’re different people, but they’re probably the same kind of person. If you just erase that if you erased the pain you experienced from making those same mistakes over and over again. Well then you’d never learn and you’d never explore why is it that I keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over again. Why is that? That’s a feature and a bug of of human beings. When we explore and dig into it, stare into that messy void. Why it is the make the same relationship mistakes, the same love mistakes over and over again.

If you don’t do that, then you’re going to keep doing it over and over again. I can almost guarantee that. Okay, what about money? What about money mistakes? Would it be good for you just to erase, erase, erase all your money mistakes. The time that you got so far over your skis, he had to declare bankruptcy. Get rid of that. Let’s purge that from our memory. Get rid of that the time that you were in and out of credit card debt that led to the bankruptcy and all those behaviors that led to the financial mistakes she made. What about that bad investment decision you made when he lost 10s of 1000s of dollars? Erase? I don’t even want to remember that. Get that out of my head. Yuck. All these things? Is that wise? Nothing to be learned from those things? Definitely don’t want to be thinking about that. What about our physical bodies or wellness? Race, erase, erase, get rid of it. You’re not sure. I was never 50 or 100 pounds overweight? I don’t, I don’t need to think about that ever again. I don’t need to think about the behaviors that led me to gain that much weight. I don’t need to think about the lifestyle choices that put me in that predicament. No reason to be thinking about that. erase, erase erase. There was a time in my life when I was drinking 567 nights a week, erase, erase, erase, don’t need to worry about that. Don’t need to spend time thinking about how it is I found myself in that situation, that would be uncomfortable so that I’m comfortable doing it. So why would I want to think about it again. Where’s the value in that. And maybe there was a time when you were going to fast food seven days a week that led you to that behavior that led to that result. Now, erase, erase, erase, erase, nothing to be learned from that stuff. So these are individual scenarios, obviously, but easily, easily expanded to greater society to humanity as a whole. Very, very, very easily. erase, erase, erase, erase erase. So we’ve all heard the saying, Those who do not know their history are bound to repeat it. But it’s true. It’s one of the truest thing that is out there. And maybe it won’t repeat it. But you probably heard this one too. History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes? No, I think that that’s definitely true. We human beings, individually, collectively, follow predictable patterns, habits, routines, you as an individual, you probably do the same stuff every day, in the same way. Said do the same thing around the same time of year, you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, probably the same. You do Friday and Saturday night pretty similarly, you certainly have a very similar morning routine, what you put in your mouth, what you put in your head, all of it very similar. If that’s good, keep it going. But sometimes can benefit from looking at the things that we’re screwing up on and make some changes as a society. same stuff over and over again, got the same in group out group dynamics, the same tribalism, the same discrimination, the same, to progressive to conservative, hard to find that just right. It’s always too hot or too cold with us are always, you know, changing gears, changing directions. And that’s a feature, but not learning from the mistakes of our past is a bug. So rewriting history doesn’t give us the opportunity to do it doesn’t put us in position in the position to be able to actually look back and examine. That’s, that’s really terrible. How did that ever happen? And could that ever happen again. So Racing, racing racing that deprives us of that hard conversation. And that’s how we change and evolve and progress is through difficult, hard conversations. It’s not pretending that everything is perfect. It’s not just putting things out of sight out of mind. It’s not rewriting history or getting rid of books, or taking down statues, or change the name of NFL teams, or whatever. It’s taking that hard look, right in the I have it right in our eye. Saying, we did I did this we did this. What can I do? So we don’t do it again. Seems like that’d be it. Good idea. No. No, yes. Warm cold, just right how to find that just right. lessons from the past improve, our chances of finding are just right, as individuals, as human beings as a collective. I don’t want to disappoint the aliens. But I also don’t want to just give them drama for the sake of giving them drama. Sorry, aliens. I hope that I hope that the 2023 season of human beings on earth is a real snooze fest. It hasn’t been so far. And I don’t know that the conclusion is gonna be but you look at everything and you seem to be we seem to be doing the same stuff over and over again, which is predictably human. So we need to lean into our mistakes instead of erasing them instead of trying to rewrite them instead of trying to change things that better serves who we are better serves my sense of me, making sure I feel good about me. That’s not serving anybody. We actually need to be making good decisions be making better decisions. The best disinfectant is sunshine. It’s not hiding it. It’s not censoring things. It’s listening to different ideas and exploring them and interrogating reality, having difficult, hard, uncomfortable conversations between our own ears and then between the other human beings that we are trying to coexist with here on planet Earth. So, Sunshine is the best indice, the best disinfectant. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Well, behind vaccines, of course, those are the best disinfectant, but sunshine, close second. Do your part doing your best

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