Monday, May 23, 2011

Hands On History

Recently, I was given the opportunity to accompany our daughter and her classmates on a trip to Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. We have been there before as a family. It was definitely different attending with 4 busloads of kids, chaperones and teachers. We had pretty much the whole day until closing. We went to Greenfield Village first mainly due to weather and anticipating it getting warmer in the afternoon.

Greenfield Village is set up like a town with various stages of history. There are several cabins, Edison's laboratory and a working farm. Many of the cabins we looked in were very small. Many times during the day I overheard, "How did they live like that?"

The answer I usually gave was, "They didn't know any different." And they didn't at the time. When you think of how much things have changed even in the last hundred or so years, it is amazing. Each generation has made contributions to making life "better".

Many times at our house we have had the discussion (usually over something on TV) that if there was a way for someone from back then to somehow magically be able to come back in this present time they would be shocked. The way clothing (or lack of), transportation, electronics, technology, radio, television have impacted our world would frighten someone from back then. After a little while and the shock wore off, the amazement would kick in. I really wonder though if they would think it was "better" than what they had.

One of the things that saddened me was that the kids interest was not held for long. They are used to getting information instantly and, more than likely, on a screen. When given the chance to experience some history first hand, a lot of the kids were ready to keep moving barely looking at what was right in front of them. Of course, some of it might have been the excitement that they were heading to the Tiger game at the end of the day!

I am praying that our generations will take the time to really appreciate the history that has already happened so that we make our right now and our history to come.....better. Years from now when another class goes through things that are popular now they will probably also ask, "how did they live like that?"
Deuteronomy 4 (NLT)32 “Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the earth until now, and search from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before?

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