The History of Real People Isn’t Boring

When I was a schoolgirl, history bored me.

But then again, my only exposure to it was through textbooks, which have a knack for distilling entire civilizations into lists of emperors, kings, conquerors, presidents, financial magnates and military generals, whose insatiable quest for power is deemed the only story worth telling.

forgotten country path house homestead woods steve henderson art

A family once lived here — they had hopes, dreams, struggles, and successes. This is true history. Forgotten Path, art print at Steve Henderson Collections

Understandably, we know more about the superficial trappings of the wealthy and the powerful than we do ordinary people. If any house is going to survive, it will be one that is well constructed to last.  Gold and silver and precious gems are treasured — and kept — moreso than the implements of the poor.

Even today, we focus on the lives of our contemporary nobility, those who have leveraged themselves into a position to purchase power and fame. But if we look to them to tell humanity’s story — his story, her story — we limit ourselves.

Because history is the tale of “ordinary” people — our hopes and dreams, our struggles and triumphs, the many challenges we face (often because of the emperors, kings, conquerors, presidents, financial magnates, and military generals) and how we chip away at them, day by ordinary day.

The artwork, Forgotten Path, celebrates the determination, strength, and dignity of regular, everyday, normal, ordinary people. Along a country path, in the midst of an overgrown copse of trees, a house stands. It has been abandoned for years, forgotten, because the people who lived here are long gone, their story unknown.

But we can piece a story together. The house is decently built: someone took time and care to craft a home for their family. It’s located in farm country, so it’s likely that the family grew crops and kept animals. Children played in the yard. Someone, probably a woman, cooked and cleaned, washed clothes and hung them out to dry.

Each day there was work to do; each night, light glowed from the windows as the family ate, read books (there are volumes, scattered about, inside), talked. We don’t know if the family was a happy one or a sad one, cheerful or angry, but they worked and played, ate and slept, dreamed of a future worth dreaming about, and worked to make it come true.

That kind of history? It’s not boring.

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are

The Power We All Possess

Are You Important?

Choose Wisely Who Influences You

 

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She writes about life, art, and the art of life.
This entry was posted in america, Culture, Daily Life, Encouragement, Faith, Family, home, homesteading, inspirational, Life, Lifestyle, nostalgia, simple living, thinking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s