Everything we know about history has more than likely come from a journal or a letter that was found or passed down through the family. These journals and letters relayed, often in descriptive details, everything that the penner endured. The importance of the pen to our ancestors is one of the top and only reasons we even know what happened in history and it is because of the pen that we continue to remember these events.
But why did they write everything down? I mean the letters are understandable, they were communicating to family and friends, but that doesn’t explain the journals and diaries. There were so, so, so many people who carried and continually wrote in journals that I have to wonder, what motivated them? Was it simply a way to pass the time? A way to express feelings and relieve stress, or was it more than that?
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Queen Elizabeth, the immigrants traveling across the sea to the New Country, the farmers dealing with Indians, the love-sick school girls, the soldiers fighting in the Civil War, the traveling nurses; what motivated all of them in a way that lacks today? Anyone who keeps a diary today would be looked at as nothing more than a young girl in 6th grade journaling a childish love-life; its just not done by anyone else in today’s culture.
I believe the difference is the way they thought. The way that their minds were wired were different than the way our minds are wired today. I, personally, believe that they journaled everything because they knew they were making history. They lived with a mindset that they were shaping the future. They lived their day-to-day lives knowing that their choices would affect future generations.
Isn’t that completely different than our mindsets today? Everything we do today is focused on “today”. We live for the now, not caring what our decisions will lead to in the future. We, especially as teens and young adults, live for pleasure and don’t want to think about the future until the future comes. Bad choices are made, opportunities are missed, and we ourselves suffer while also causing those around us to suffer, all because of our mindsets as a whole.
It makes me wonder what caused the change of thinking. It could be the abundance of technology. It could be the lack of pressure to shape the future and push it forward, or a lack of passion for life. It could even simply be the lack of desire to be more than the previous generation. Regardless of the reason our mindsets are so different now, it still hurts me to look at my generation and stand by without doing anything to help. We are called the selfie generation, and not just because we love taking selfies. Its because everything we do revolves around us. Every breath we take is put towards something that will benefit us.
But, this post isn’t here to discourage and make us feel hopeless; its here to do just the opposite.You know how in history, revolutions and rebellions would start by one person who wasn’t satisfied with how life was around them? History was changed all because of those historians with the mindset for the future and the dissatisfied view of the world around them. Well here’s a bombshell for you, we are the historians of the future.
People will look back on us and either snarl their noses or applaud us for how we handled life. And how we handle life depends on our mindset. We can either live with the mindset to shape the future, or continue on with our mindset of living for the now. But how do we develop a mindset for the future? It seems so foreign.
I find that once I take my focus off of what I can gain from an action, and instead put my focus on what I can help someone else gain from my actions; I start living for the future. If I make a point to compliment someone who looks as if they are having a bad day, I reshape the future of their day. If I make everything I do about other people rather than about me, not only will I be blessed and more liked by people (because really, who doesn’t love being around someone who always thinks of others before themselves?), but I will also learn to love the people who I am honoring and giving them inspiration to do the same.
I want people to look back on me and my life and know that I lived to shape the future. I want people to know that I am not satisfied with mundane life of “me” that the culture is pushing on us. But most of all, I want to stir up a rebellion amongst my generation to revolt against the stereotype being put on us. I want us to be the generation that arrises and changes the course of history; not the one that sits back and watches it spiral into chaos.
I want to live for the future; and in order to do that, I have changed my mindset to that of a historian. Because I am a historian.