Well, the story we like to tell about “Ring Around the Rosey” having anything to do with plague were squashed by Snopes. But somehow it seems appropriate. It’s Ash Wednesday. We’re facing, once again, a possible pandemic. The world is coming to an end and we’re just dancing in circles.
Or perhaps not. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about a background study in history is a long view on current events. It’s harder to get worked up about how things are going now when you can look back and see how people were thinking and feeling the same thing years, or even centuries, ago.
Of course, when we don’t have that sense of history, you get a short-sighted, reflexive attitude. This is a problem in the United States where we don’t know our own (relatively short) history. Are we living in tumultuous times? Sure, but haven’t we always?