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“The lessons of history are manifold. Nothing happens in isolation. Everything that happens has consequences. We are all part of a larger stream of events, past, present, and future. We are all beneficiaries of those who went before us — who built the cathedrals, who braved the unknown, who gave of their time and service, and who kept faith in the possibilities of the mind and the human spirit. An astute observer of old wrote that history is philosophy taught with examples. Harry Truman liked to say that the only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know. From history we learn that sooner is not necessarily better than later . . . that what we don’t know can often hurt us and badly . . . and that there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. A sense of history is an antidote to self-pity and self-importance, of which there is too much in our time. To a large degree, history is a lesson in proportions.”
- David McCullough,
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
(Simon and Schuster, 2017)