History. For me, it was that class that I never paid attention to. It was that period of time that was just… one big period of time. Also known as, what I considered, an extremely boring subject in school. Throughout a significant portion of my life, I never cared for history. There were certain parts that I did find interesting, but for the most part, it wasn’t something that seemed significant in my life. How naive I was.
Tonight I watched the Arizona Cardinals make history. A drought without a championship, 61years, to be exact. They will go on to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Momentarily, while on this subject, my thoughts go out to Willis McGahee of the Ravens and his family. Should the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, not that I’m trying to jinx it for all those Arizona fans, but should they win, they’ll be apart of something great, they’ll be apart of history.
When you think about it, history is an incredible subject. The events that take place, how, in the blink of an eye, everything can change. I recently saw the movie Valkyrie. Although I wouldn’t recommend it because of Tom Cruise’s acting, the historical accuracy of the movie was very good. There were many things I didn’t like about the movie, like, how Hitler was the only one with a German accent. That was stupid. Anyway, not the point. The second attempt on Hitler’s life when Operation Walküre failed, obviously. The original place where Von Stauffenberg was set to release the bomb would have been an air tight building, no windows, and an explosion that probably would have killed Hitler. However, due to the heat of the day, the meeting that was supposed to take place had been moved to a different location. One with many windows, a location that was not ideal for this project.
The thing that I find fascinating about history are the events that could have happened. What if the day had been cooler and the meeting was to be held in the correct chamber? Would Hitler have died that day? If he would have, how would that impact our history? Simple things can change our very way of life, our hopes, our dreams. In my last post, I mentioned the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. Herb Brooks had every intention of cutting Mike Eruzione, the captain. In the end, he didn’t and Eruzione made the game winning goal. What if Brooks had cut him? Would Al Michaels have been able to say, “Do you believe in Miracles?” Would we be in the same state we are now? Would we, as a country, have been let down by the failure of a team?
It’s history that impacts and transforms our very way of life. Everyday we make history whether we know it or not. It reminds me of the butterfly effect. Not that terrible movie, but the actual chaos theory itself: It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a
butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. Amazing. How something so small and so insignificant could cause a devastating effect that could change history.
I think about history today because tomorrow is Martin Luther King day and the day after that, a defining moment in history: out first, and hopefully not our last, black president. I’m reminded of some excerpts from the infamous “I have a dream” speech.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a
stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the
jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of
brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray
together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for
freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
Yes, I did have to go look up those quotes, I don’t just have them stashed in my memory, lest we forget, I didn’t pay attention in history class. The big one that stood out for me was the second one, that people would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by who they are. In this country, we face so much prejudice, and not just towards other races; people who are over weight, people who are under weight, disabled, homeless, you name it.
This nation is about to be part of something great, something that was unthinkable not too long ago. This nation, our nation, is about to make history. We have come so far. While strides are clearly being made to fight racism, I know that it is something that our country may never move past. And I know this being a minority in this country. I’m Korean, and I’ve lived in this country all but eleven weeks of my life, in fact, I’ve lived in this state all but eleven weeks of my life. I’m often asked the question if I’m Chinese. For me, it’s a hilarious question. The assumption that all Asian’s in this country are Chinese. The other question I get is if I’m from North or South Korea. Ah, the ignorance of people. I’ve concocted this story about being Kim Jong Il’s illegitimate child and how, in an effort to get rid of me, he catapulted me across 20 miles of landmines to the South. I know, I’m a terrible person, but come on. Someone had to be paying attention in history class, right?
Enough of me talking about being Asian, and if I crack an Asian joke, please don’t takeoffense, I don’t believe I’m racist if I’m making fun of myself. While I eagerly await this new president, I also admire him. Not for running for president, but for the courage to run this harsh country that he’s about to face. There are many in this country who are opposed to seeing someone who is not white running their country. While I don’t understand the logic behind it, I won’t argue with it, not now. This man is about to come into power in a time that could not be worse for our country. While some of you may not have been in agreement with me on the candidate that you were supporting, I hope that we can all make the best of these next four years. We’re in need of a leader and we’re in need of change, may he be the one to bring it.