You know the old saying – greatly paraphrased here – that you need to know history or you are doomed to repeat it. That having been said, “How do you get kids to want to watch history as it happens?”
I am not talking the huge things like 9/11 which was basically force-fed to children on television. I am talking the everyday history like the passing of a president. I have had this thought since my children, ages 12 – 22, all told me I was nuts to be watching parts of the funeral of Gerald R. Ford. I truly don’t understand why they don’t think watching this part of their country’s history is important. On top of a funeral service, they would have received bits and pieces of history, the types of things that are not in the history books when talking about Nixon, Agnew, Ford and their meshed times in office.
Maybe one is born with the desire to be a “history” or “news” junkie. My children all know that I love to watch the news, that rather than music most of the day in the background as I work there is news. I can remember, as a 12 year old, watching the ever depressing news about Vietnam. I remember the break-in to programming about the trial of Lt. Calley. I remember history that my children now read about in books and watching it unravel in front of my eyes. My children do not seem to want to have these memories.
Maybe it is a case of the two spectrums of life – the young and the old. My mother and stepfather live near Palm Desert, California. They go to tennis matches at the tennis center where people were parking to go to the California viewing of Gerald R. Ford at St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert. When asked if they would go, my mother thought I was crazy also. But she has seen history in the making – more than I have – so it is not a total disregard like the youth of this age have.
How do we get children – and I use the term losely – to watch history as it happens?