I feel very philosophical this month…
For the past few weeks I have been reading the book Lies My Teacher Told Me. It’s about history… or rather the things about history that are often left out or whitewashed in heroification of our American history. Because of this it makes for what I call “heavy reading” and it feels like I have been reading it forever. I think I’m finally about two-thirds of the way through it and it covers something that most history courses never make it to…
The end of the history textbook.
The book goes on about how most, if not all the American history textbooks that he read and reviewed as his sample ended with what he called the myth of progress. Each one tried to end with a sort of high note of how the United States still has much to go and how the people are progressing upwards and onwards… and all that jazz. The book author is not much of a fan of these sorts of endings. However, the bombshell, as an avid reader of romance novels where the stories end with the couple together with the promise of happily ever after, I sort of like those types of endings.
Which made me wonder…
Is the leafy one an idealist?
When it comes to endings, I often like hearing about how books or movies end before I even see them. I never believe it gives too much away because even with knowing the ending… you can only guess how the story progressed to that place. Sure, some stories are more predictable than others but the story itself is always the progression from beginning to end. Sometimes you just have to disagree with the ending when you’ve been presented with the story.
But what about life?
When chapters of our lives end and we have to somehow explain the events that led up to that moment… how easy it to do so? I often say that having to relive those moments in retelling it to others who have not lived it is in someways harder than when we first lived them. It’s like we have to organize it and explain motives and reasons. Hindsight is often 20-20 but it does not contain an anesthetic.
Can one predict endings before they happen in our own lives?
The quote I always associate with how things should end is from one of my favorite movies, A Knight’s Tale. The female blacksmith, Kate, says when the group is composing a love letter to William’s lady love and she supplies the ending to the letter.
How should it end?
With hope. Love should always end with hope.
Then she goes on to say that her belated husband told her this:
Hope guides me.
It’s what gets me through the day
and expecially the night.
The hope that after you are gone from my side,
it will not be the last time I look upon you.
So maybe the bombshell is not an idealist, per say. However, I don’t think anyone could argue that I am very much a romantic. That’s why I like my endings with the promise of progress and hope.