History comes to life when you learn about someone who has actually lived through it. To hear first-hand accounts of something that was solidified in time is intriguing. Their account is valued, personal and, in many cases, can even be misleading.
These historical figures hold a key that unlocks the mysteries of the past. They can help paint pictures that dive into the very heart of humanity. However, they can also be incredibly one-sided. Never-the-less, their stories are also an important part of the vibrant quilt work of fabric that helps us to define time itself.
One of my more interesting pastimes is sitting down on the couch with my grandma to watch films whose plots are rooted in historical events. Whether fiction or non-fiction, the imagery, costume designs, and patterned speech always sparks a comment or two from my grandma about life for her when she was living during that period.
“That’s right around the time I had my youngest,” my grandma said while watching the date of the first manned lunar mission flash across the screen in the film, First Man. “I remember watching events like this on those funny looking TV screens that they just showed.”
It was events like this that prompted me to begin questioning where my grandparents and parents were during significant events of the world’s history. What were they doing, what were they thinking about, and how did they react, if at all, to the major incidents that unfolded during their lifetimes?
It helped me put everything into perspective. Rather than remaining facts and figures the warm blood of history coursing through living veins comes alive with each individuals’ experiences. The knowledge and the message clicks, and I am able to take what I have learned from history and better apply it to my own life as I progress into the future.