Rediscovering Columbus Day:
Who found what when? What is really being honored and what are we really celebrating?
By now many are familiar with “some” of the “controversy” that surrounds the ‘Columbus Day’ holiday.
Let’s take a different spin on dissecting the events leading up to “that day”, and use it as an opportunity for some self-discovery.
Short and anything-but-sweet, let’s summarize the Columbus Controversy like this:
– The Tactics
– The Timing
– The Tools
These ‘controversies’ are listed in order of general social awareness.
Most are familiar with the crude and cruel tactics utilized during the voyage, before, up to and through the “discovery of the new world”. Brutality, slavery, and death…
This is why the majority of ‘protesters’ show up at Columbus Day parades.
That said, this article is not about galvanizing ‘anti-Columbus Day’ support. That’s not the mission here, let’s learn from the past and move on from it.
Self-discovery: the journey is not about getting to the finish line, it’s about the road one travels leading up to it.
Many are familiar with the nuances and controversies-bordering-on-conspiracy of the “timing” of this discovery.
Let’s keep it simple: Native Americans were here first, so what was really discovered? The only thing they discovered was that other individuals with a native-tongue had previously “discovered” this discovery.
Beyond that premise, we have since learned that history was taught to us the wrong way in grade-school. There were plenty of folks that discovered, and rediscovered, “America” prior to the Columbus team. The Vikings appeared to have left their footprint on several occasions alone.
Self-discovery: most of what we claim to discover, we discover only for ourselves. If one claims to have discovered anything more than that, it’s typically a claim being voiced by the ego. Be comfortable “rediscovering”, and humble when someone say’s “you’ve discovered”.
Far fewer are familiar with the subtle tools of manipulation utilized to manage a society’s belief system – HOWEVER, that awareness is also rising at an exponential rate (in large part due to the internet serving as a vehicle for ‘viral’ communication).
In order to ‘manage a society’, one needs to fill the void that society needs in order to ‘rally around them’. In your discernment of this statement – do note that this also describes a general characteristic of leadership. It is only the intent behind leadership which can be judged.
Before reviewing the tools for manipulation cited below, consider why it was an important ‘catalyst’ from those in power. To have a fresh start, you need a change – and you need a reason to change. The discovery is built around the premise of a “new world” – where a new system of democracy would later be built (disregard the order of events we were taught in school – seeds are planted far before the fruit of a tree is bore).
Consider these tools for manipulation:
– The truth: “Discovery” requires something be “undiscovered”. The tool: jargon used to qualify the discovery by differentiating a “New world” (implying, an “old world”).
– The truth: In order to make something meaningful, it needs to have a meaning. The tool: personalize the discovery with historical fact, nouns, verbs, and adjectives. A name, date, a cause, a description. A story.
– The truth: In order to create “effect” one needs to create a “cause”… The tool: as alluded to above, this was about discovery of a new place which would be the springboard for a new era. In that point of history in particular: discovery made heroes, and heroes made discoveries.
– The truth: In order to make that “effect” timeless, the cause needed to echo through subsequent generations of the “new world’s civilians”. The tool: School. A short poem to make us remember along with an annual holiday to make us remember the short poem.
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
Self-discovery: do not be afraid to “rediscover” things which you once considered truth for yourself. Balance that rediscovery with understanding – “pendulum swinging” to the other extreme has the exact same limiting effect (from a supporter to a protester). But do know that some of the most meaningful learning you can do in the future relies on unlearning things from the past.
Until next time, explore beyond what we are implored to learn, friends. 🙂