History is a great teacher. It gives us a perspective about human advancement and development that we can’t get without studying it. If we take notice, there were time frames for things to develop and advance naturally, meaning by way of discussion, debate and appropriate give-and-take. The Declaration of Independence was ratified in 1776. The constitution was secure by the ninth state in June of 1788. None of the delegates arrived in Philadelphia with the document in his pocket. The apostle Paul spent 14 years in Arabia after his conversion before he began his ministry. His wasn’t an overnight evangelistic journey.
We have been too geared to fix everything now. We either simply forget or choose to ignore how many times the perfect government or institution has been attempted and failed. We fancy ourselves so much more intelligent and advanced than past generations, so sure we can do it by the end of the week. Human behavior doesn’t work that way. The Affordable Care Act was passed assuming people would automatically sign up for health insurance, but by and large, they didn’t. They didn’t get regular checkups from an established physician like it was assumed. Congress forgot human behavior can’t be forced or changed by a stroke of a pen.
History has a flow that takes us through the human journey step by step. If we can learn again to think long-term, we will approach today’s challenges with a more studied and thoughtful approach. Why do people resist being herded like cattle into doing things they don’t want to do? Is it possible they would rather have shepherds (who lead) instead of cowboys (who drive)? Trust must be developed, not demanded. No one generation has finally “figured it all out” and can invent answers before we even know the questions or the need for answers. I love what history teaches us: that there is truly nothing new under the sun.