we are all history

thinking about the news headlines recently i cannot but be struck by the historical nature of events i am living through and i’m only 26. now i know that everything is history as soon as it happens – by definition it is the past and the moment is also passed – but i have been particularly struck by the nature of events. now unfortunately the events and moments that are remembered by history and written about at some future point are those events which often do not show humanity in its best light – the 9/11 attacks, the 7/7 bombings in London or the shocking and horrific attacks in Norway most recently.

however there are events of my recent past that do give me heart – the coming to the end of the shuttle missions, whilst poignant and sad as it is the end of man’s exploration into space (at least in the short foreseeable future) and the overthrow of  the egyptian president in a generally peaceful way and in the more passed past the Good Friday agreement and of course i cannot forget that i have seen a black man elected president in America. these are events will be remembered as history and i have lived through them. now this all sounds quite grandiose but it is meant to be thought-provoking in a way – those of us alive now are living through events which will be remembered as that “proper” history which is recorded in great tomes and works of academic prowess in later years. these events are shaping and have shaped my current existence and will likely continue to shape my future – i now for example, live in a world where international terrorism is a reality in a way which it was not before September 11 2001. i live in a world and a time where the micro-blogging site Twitter “saved freedom of speech” in the Trafigura / Carter Ruck affair and these events have inevitably shaped my existence in some way – although i will likely not feel the effects directly or personally.

thinking about it, it is an odd thing to be living through history in this way, with so many momentous moments having happened in a relatively short space of time. i’m not comparing my existence to those people who have really lived with and experienced these moments first hand, but having experienced them in some way it is striking just how much is going on around us! everyone lives through history and in there are always historical events going on around everyone, no matter when they were born or when they die, but i just got to thinking, even though we are all history and even this lowly blog post will be history just as soon as its finished, how much of history is experienced and how much is forgotten?

what happens to those smaller more personal but nonetheless important historical events which have shaped our present and future but have been forgotten or, more accurately, were not and have not been remembered? what have we as a collective forgotten to remember?