History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours for you to erase or destroy.

History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours for you to erase or destroy.

When I was in school, I had the wrong history teachers. History was a series of facts that had to be remembered verbatim or you did not get a good grade in the class. Facts that most of us could not possibly answer now such as… what year was the Magna Carta signed? Who is the king at the time? What was the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States? What was the significance of the Warsaw Pact? Why was the League of Nations created? And so on.

Later, through exposure to history through many through novels by Gore Vidal and other highly intelligent authors, experience became live with people instead of facts. Abraham Lincoln becomes a real person coping with a wife who is mentally ill and children trying to live through their own disease chapters. Once Vidal stripped away the facts and memorization, everything becomes relatable in its own unique fashion.

The choice to make history relatable could not be more important, because as quickly as we are able to eliminate the need to memorize a specific date, and instead, grasp the cultural and economic issues that gave birth to those moments in time, the more readily we are to apply what we have learned to similar issues in our current situations.

The intellectual necessity for this is obvious. Whereas the non-intellectual reason for this is imperative. If you take an average student who may not get through high school and accelerate into college, you have this tiny window to make an indelible impression about how and why things happen the way they do. Without these lessons being learned, we are continuously going to battle the waves of inept conspiracy theories that sound juicy, and even potentially palatable, to someone who will never have the foundation in their initial education to have cause to question what they are being told. That, right there, is the core danger.

Authors, artists, play writes, filmmakers and television show producers give birth to fictionalized, voyeuristic experiences that enable their audiences to journey into a world of alternate experiences and deliver their protagonist to whatever outcome they see fit.

As a ravenous society feeds on these experiences, they develop an ingrained taste for that kind of mental and emotional stimulation. This, combined with the revolution in widespread distribution of media tools and media distribution through social networks, facilitates any orangutan with a basic computer to give birth to anything on any topic, regardless of how inaccurate that content might prove to be.

This could not be more dangerous. Coexisting in the world where most people have very little context about historical significance leaves us in a highly vulnerable position in today’s society.

Even more alarming to me are those who know better and are still trying to sweep their ugly chapters of history under the metaphorical rug.

This is not just a simple act of embarrassment that they wish to cover-up. It is a systematic methodology of maintaining a specific mindset in their society. One day, I was in Hong Kong and it happened to be the 10th anniversary of the conflict in Tiananmen Square. The front page article on the newspaper in Hong Kong was the man standing defiantly in front of the tanks. That day, I flew to Beijing and I looked at the newspaper and there was no mention of the event anywhere. This is a perfect example of what I am discussing. If a society is allowed to control history, then the true lessons from history cannot fully be learned or appreciated.

A truly free society must be able to learn from those who came before us. Some of those lessons are glorious and others convey the utmost shame and embarrassment.

The choice to enable a society to disregard the problems from the past is unquestionably a direct license to enable them to manipulate the future without regard for long-term ramifications and consequences.

History is not a collection of facts and figures, it is the story of societies who struggled during their contemporaneous experiences to live fully realized lives in the face of circumstances and consequences that we, in our current situation, may not even be capable of fathoming.

Happy Monday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!