Thursday, July 28, 2011

1. Heroes of our ages


The stuff of heroes

Every yarn in the fabric of history is held together by a common thread. From the story of the light bulb to the grand history of nations, it is the colourful lives of its heroes and villains and dissensions between them, that keep the stories of our past animated and so compelling even today. Our study and understanding of history is therefore devoted to individuals on whose shoulders the direction of our civilization and evolutionary past pivots and turns; and on whose heroism our destiny is often secured and at times imperilled. History is a veneration of those mountainous giants whose lives have shaped its course through the valleys of time, carrying with it in myth and legend, a bountiful legacy that inspires us still. It is impossible to sustain the historical narrative without reference to the lives of those who shaped it. Even the history of science lends itself willingly to myths about apples falling on the brightest heads at the most crucial moments.

Legends that make up the history of nations often stretch further back from living memory to the memory of tomes and beyond, where they take root in times immemorial. We draw from that unverifiable magic of time, the narratives that define our present identity, culture and view of the world. Perched at the edge of those long and thorny tales - of heroism and villainy, insight and ignorance, disaster and fortune, war and peace - our own lives and times bloom into existence. Though told and retold until truth is no longer distinguishable from myth, the narratives of history and its heroes bear more relevance to the colour and tone of present times than we would fain admit...

(Continued here...)

No comments: