I was chatting one day with a teenage boy who worked for me and somehow the conversation turned to the subject of studying history. Young Sam didn’t see the point of it.
“Why,” he reasoned, “should I care about things that happened before I was even born?” Now, I’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but..well, as I said Sam was young.
Personally, I love history. Especially American history. I believe that it is the most important academic subject we teach our children. That’s why my wife and I wrote our elementary (Providential) American history text books. That’s why I saw very little of Marilyn except the top of her head for a year and a half—it took eighteen months for her to write For You They Signed, a book of character studies from the lives of the great men who signed the Declaration of Independence. That’s why I spend so much time recording great old books for kids in my Uncle Rick audio book club. History matters far more than most people think. The only reason you were bored with in school is that it was poorly taught.
As I tried to explain to my friend Sam, certain things could not happen in the present if certain other things had not happened in the past. For instance, if Sam’s mother had never met Sam’s father in the past, there would be no Sam in the present. Just little things like that.
The events of the past made the world in which we live for the present. Today, things are happening that will determine what will happen tomorrow. “Now” is the meeting place of eternity past and eternity future and it is not possible to separate the three time periods. They are siblings; in fact, conjoined triplets.