Seven Gifts of History

  1. History illustrates the foundations of democracy and community. A museum houses a place to meet, learn and discuss. The walls serve as a place to bridge generations, discover a new viewpoint and learn information needed to make an informed, educated decision.
  2. History aids in building a strong, central community. Communities are built from communication. Communities may not always agree but they will discuss, given the appropriate venue and inspiration. This discussion helps our communities grow.
  3. History provides context and inspiration for community spirit. When a community talks it remembers and relates itself to the past. A community discusses both its failures and successes in terms of what has been done and what can be done in the present. This remembrance boosts community members into the future.
  4. History enables us to extend and sharpen our memory. Museums and archives work like a library for objects and culture. Nobody could hope to memorize every book written — so we have words. Nobody could ever hope to remember everything that ever happened or who it happened to — so we have history. History gives us places to learn and explore and makes life fun.
  5. History allows us to exercise our imaginations. “Inspiration can best be found among the clutter of life.” Looking at things people have looked at before gives us an opportunity to find a see new way. The past inspires and encourages creativity by challenging us to be the next great inventor or leader. In our history we find the momentum for our imagination.
  6. History helps us discover who we are. We are defined by our family and community. Stereotyping of our heritage impacts our lives. Our community and family history can help us get past this bias, by allowing us to define ourselves as both an individual and as part of the whole; a contributing member of our community. Recognizing and accepting our history allows the possibility of putting aside our failure, family mistakes, community miss-steps and instead take pride in our success. This reckoning keeps us healthy and happy.
  7. History shows us the past and how to build a successful future. Communities can avoid the miss-steps of the past with recognition. This acknowledgment can reinforce the successes of history, allowing communities to make effective and practical decisions regarding a better home, family, community and world, but not in the future…..

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