Declaration of Historical Interdependence

 
 

We believe that all communities of human beings are shaped by their history.  We are who we are and where we are because of the roads we have traveled, the ideas we have had, the communities we have designed, the systems we have created.   History provides the roots of resilience, of any human individual and of any group.

Therefore, in a world of rapid change in which people are connecting and reinventing systems at an unprecedented pace, it is of utmost importance that we provide every individual with the opportunity to feed on the civic nutrients of history.   Without history, our ideas for change will always be shallow and short-lived, as we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to draw inspiration from historic leadership, to find common ground through shared experiences, to build community through a narrative of belonging and to avoid mistakes.

History, if taught as a series of facts about dead people that people must memorize, is fundamentally disempowering, not to mention dull.  If taught as a mindset and set of skills for asking and finding answers to important questions, it is perhaps the most central learning needed for 21st century citizens.

History as a changemaker skill is an ongoing, life-long process of exploring

  • How systems work.
  • Institutions and how they change.
  • Leadership and how it has evolved over time.
  • Narratives that form community.
  • The evolution and competition of ideas and world views, including the concepts of human equality, democracy, and liberty
  • Diversity of perspectives and cultural contexts.
  • Why understanding facts and context matters.
  • The fragile nature of democracy.

Only if we find our own personal story, understand the story of others and connect with a larger story of we can we ever make change happen and create a future in which all can thrive.