Think of all we have learned about the founding of our country. Much of what we know, we learned in school. We may have visited historical sites, watched re-enactments of battles, or have done our own extensive research, but have we stopped to ask ourselves, “Who wrote this history down, and what was their purpose in doing so?” These are important questions.
American textbooks tell the story of the American Revolution as a positive achievement that involved great resolve by courageous people seeking freedom. Textbooks in England or France would have renditions on this moment in history and would highlight alternate heroes–men in women from their country who were fighting for their motherlands.
The same story will be told differently by all involved depending on their perspective and position in the story: landowner or slave, rich or poor, religious or adventurer, indigenous people or explorers…
This is true of ancient history, recent history, and the latest events of the day reported on the news shows.
There are always multiple versions of every event as it is related. Why? Because we cannot take something in and send it back out without something of ourselves being added to the mix. It shows up in the words we choose, the order of the events we report, the parts we leave out, our purpose for telling the story, the ratings of our show, public sentiment, political speak, and so much more.
This is not alarming or surprising news to me. It’s no different than engaging in conversations with a variety of people on the same topic and using discernment to find truth. Even though today’s words are heard around the world very quickly, current pictures displayed instantaneously, and unedited vitriolic opinions expressed in multiple formats by the push of a button, it is nothing new. It’s just a faster way of story telling, something that has been happening since the creation of man.
I think the questions we need to ask ourselves before we push the button are:
Who am I?
What is my purpose for telling this story?