Dr. John Silber, President of Boston University was a distinguished scholar who recognized the need for moral clarity in education and urged colleagues and students to understand that one cannot understand the present or prepare for the future without knowledge of the past. Dr. Silber was irrepressibly honest and rejected today’s assumption that the present always trumps the past. His speeches are now collected in a provocative and inspiring book called, “Seeking the North Star.” We can learn much from Dr. Silber; he spent many year successfully challenging the conventional wisdom regarding notions of change, progress, and rejection of our heritage. He wisely counseled us to remember, “No generation can find meaning unless it is informed by what it inherits and is accountable for what it bequeaths.”
There is trend in modern education, in the arts, and in our daily lives, that suggests that history is burden to be ignored or even intentionally forgotten. But to do this is destructive and even dangerous. We can learn from the successes and failures as well as the folly and wisdom of the past. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. But if we have no idea who these people were or what they contributed to our culture, we are embracing ignorance and dismissing knowledge.
The Cultural Conservationist seeks to prevent our history from vanishing and to learn from it. To learn more about Our Vanishing History, click here!