An article about the woeful state of the knowledge of American history in our current culture is in this morning's "Parade" magazine. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, David McCullough it resonates with me because of the eagerness of so many "adoption reformists" to brush off the Baby Scoop Era, a time that we Senior Moms lived though and from which we still carry the scars. Here is what he has to say about the importance of history.
How important is history in the United States? For at least 25 years, we’ve been raising young Americans who are, by and large, historically illiterate. The founding of our nation, the Civil War, World War II—they all should be common knowledge, but they are not. History has not just been pushed to the back burner, it’s been pushed off the stove.
Why does history matter?Amnesia is as detrimental to society as to an individual. The historian Daniel Boorstin put it very well: “Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.”
What can we learn from the past?That there is no such thing as “a self-made man or woman”—we all are influenced by people around us. That every action has consequences, and we have to be very careful about leaping to conclusions from first impressions. And that integrity and character do count in the long run. The idea that no one has ever lived in more difficult or dangerous times is untrue. Others have weathered more horrendous storms; we can take heart from them.
Amen to that, and thank you, from a Senior Mother who weathered the "more horrendous storm." I am tired of having to tell the mothers from the succeeding generations that, NO, I don't think our pain is any worse than yours, but I do know that the situations were very, very different. Rather than looking at the facts, some just want to be historically blind and ignorant and want us Senior Moms to go away.
Well, that is NOT going to happen barring death and disaster. We're not so old that we can't make our own noise and plead our own case and, from all that I now know, that is very much in the works. Anyone who presumes to be the "voice" for all mothers had best think again. Unless the BSE is recognized and addressed, you're not speaking for THIS mother and for many others I know.
History is real and there have been heinous, factual, historical events buried by our government before that have come to light in the recent past. This is one more event that is going to see the light of day before we face the great unknown. Millions of mothers with children taken for adoption, children who are now in their 30's, 40's and early 50's, (my daughter is a grandmother) WILL have a voice that speaks for them and to let their children know the reality of what happened and why.
Let's not allow the baby of the social revolution of the 60's and 70's to be thrown out with the bathwater. Above all, this is history that must not be repeated. Like the holocaust, it springs from bias, judgment and power run amok and punishing the most vulnerable of the citizens of that time period. To go back to the attitudes, mores and activities of that era would be a national tragedy.
But, that is where we are headed if we don't learn from the past and address it, NOW.