The More I Think About It, The Dumber It Sounds

An American philosopher from the early 20th century, George Santayana, once said, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or something very close to that. I used to think that was pretty profound.

Now, I’m convinced it’s one of the dumbest quotes imaginable, one of those utterances that we’re supposed to accept without thinking. That’s the trouble. The more you think about it, the dumber it becomes.

I’m referring to the assumption that if you know history, you won’t repeat it. Balderdash. History will repeat because people repeat, their qualities, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and a thousand other things about them repeat. History repeats.

The much more important–and accurate–point is that each of us needs to prepare to know what the repetition means. If you know it, understand it, and work with it, the repetition of history can become the means of personal growth and achievement.

Of course history repeats, whether you realize it or not. The trick, the key, is what we do with it.

That’s the River.