The Past Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning

A thoughtful post about the relationship between history and our identities by a former professor of mine at Northwest University.

Joshua Ryan Ziefle

things_from_the_past_by_pamba-d5cq4dlI read a brief devotional work at the beginning of most of my class sessions at Northwest University.  Now in my fifth year of teaching, I have a general pool of books from which I tend to draw.  Even so, I needed a new one for one of my courses this semester.  After quickly scanning my shelves I selected a short work from the Catholic author Henri Nouwen entitled The Living Reminder.

I’ve read some Nouwen before, so I had hopes that his thoughts would be helpful for students.  So far, I’ve liked it.  Especially a comment I read the other day:

The older we grow the more we have to remember, and at some point we realize that most, if not all, of what we have is memory. Our memory plays a central role in our sense of being. Our pains and joys, our feelings of grief and…

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