Writers: The Biographers of History

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

I have always been a lover of history, so much so that I often wondered about those who recorded the events. Who were they? How did the events they wrote about affect them? What was their ultimate goal as historians? As I take the time to reflect on them and the enormous task they accepted, I wonder who has received the torch to illuminate the future for those to come?

 

In The Beginning…

 

The Holy Bible is one of the first sources of recorded history. Would it exist without a writer to pen its contents? Where would we be without it? It is an important part of the history of humanity, and for some, it is the manual for life. Nevertheless, the writers scrawled through wars, famine, flood and the changing of time. They took note of everything we needed to know so that we may not always remain as a child. Due to the efforts of these historians, this book is the oldest and the most read book on earth. The contents of the Holy Bible will be shared until the end of time and will be a record of history for future generations.

 

Fast Forward 30 Years.

 

The year is 2046, a 17-year-old teenager desires to read about his ancestors or the events of long ago. What will he read? What story will we tell? Who will be the great composers of history? Was the information accurately recorded? We as writers can ensure positive answers to these questions. Some may say, that teenager will have the ability to find all of his information from online news and other media sources. My question in return would be, are you truly a writer? While this may be true, these events still need to be recorded in the written word. History does not write itself; someone must take the time and effort to pen its events. Actual writers have a story to tell; we have a need to be read and to make our mark on those around us. Why not leave an impression that lives for generations.

 

As a young girl, The Diary of Anne Frank gave me the ability to travel more than 30 years before my birth. Her heart-wrenching yet entertaining memoir recorded a harrowing time in history. The Complete Poems of Robert Frost offered me poetic insight into his thoughts, feelings, and view of love, life and the world in 1949.  In 1912, James Weldon Johnson wrote, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. His autobiography not only made literary history, but it is also an American classic that paved the way for African-American writers like Zora Neal-Hurston, Richard Wright, and, one day, myself. Doesn’t that young child of the future deserve that same benefit? I think they do!

 

The Present…

 

So much has transpired just this year alone, and we can only imagine what’s to come. Are you documenting the state of the world as you see it? If not, why? Are we solely relying on journalists and social media to pen the incidents of today and the days to come? There are many stories to be told and many points of view from which we can collectively share it. It is our duty as citizen writers to play our part in reporting history. Not for the sake of ourselves but the sake of our descendants. Are you ready to accept the torch in front of you? Every time you pick up your pen or pound away on your computer, you are empowered to write history. For those of us who wish to own that responsibility, we are the historians of the future.

 More writings by Lydia on Two Drops of Ink

 

 

 

 

 

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16 comments

  1. Hi Lydia, Thank you for your excellent and thought-provoking post. First, I am so grateful that God gave us His written Word and I thank him for those He chose to pen it! You bring up some excellent points which I hadn’t really thought about before – such as the waning art of recording history. Although I know many who do keep journals, it was once a practice that most engaged in, recording not only what was happening to them in their personal lives, but putting those words within the context of history. Anne Frank, whose diary I read as a young girl, is an enduring example of preserving and passing down history. I think you have given me an important reason to journal! Although I am no historian by any means, just the act of reflecting on the day and passing on the gifts or challenges it held would be a lovely legacy to leave. Thank you!

    Like

  2. Lydia, I loved this. Some of the best writing is of historical events, by the very people that experienced them. My mother encouraged me to read “The Diary of Anne Frank” when I was of the right age. I read some of it, but cannot remember finishing it. I worry about the next generation and their willingness to understand the past.

    Part of future history will relate to our ability to “park” our blogs, and leave behind an historical record for all to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post, dear Lydia. I also love reading memoir, and I wish my ancestors would have written journals or kept their old letters. My dear daughter knows there will be a trunk of my scribbled-down-thoughts for her to read (or not read) after I fly away.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Lydia,
    Every time you post something, you open the door to reveal something more about yourself. Each time I am impressed with your diversity, knowledge, and love for the writing craft. Along with writing for the sake of recording history, I read other messages within your post. We are told as writers to “Write, Write, Write” the more we write the better we become. If we are writing to record history, we are also practicing and enhancing our abilities. I’m also hearing that as Christians, God calls us to spread his word. As a Christian writer, every time we write we spread Christ’s Love to all that read our work. Can it get any better than this? Thanks for sharing another beautifully created post. God Bless.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chuck, my dear friend it can’t possibly get any better than that. Our spreading of Christ’s Love is the most important. Love you and God Bless you too my dear friend. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi, Lydia. Once again, you have taken writing, recording, and reviewing life to another place. You are right, if we, who write, do not review and record the history around us, all that will be available to our children is the “world-view”. While that may record the facts, it often does not reflect the influences and impact on the everyday.

    This post made me think and I appreciate your ability to do that.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I love this sentence…It is our duty as citizen writers to play our part in reporting history. I have never considered myself a citizen writer, but your words make it clear that I am one. Thanks. This makes me consider my love for history in a new way…as a writer. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you, Lydia, for this very reason you write about, is the reason I decided to write. I want to leave behind my history, so my children have written documentation of my life. Also, if I can bring perspective to another by sharing my life’s peaks and valleys. Your post is awesome. John.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Provocative and compelling. Unless I tell my story, no one will ever know it. Unless we tell our story, no one will ever know what we survived. Thanks for the wake-up call, Lydia. Consider your admonishment heard.

    Liked by 3 people

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