“…And Did You Learn Anything?…”

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

Tiger Woods. Perhaps the most googled name since Thanksgiving. And now, on the heels of a good showing in the first round of the Masters, Tiger Woods is rebuilding his brand. I’m no Woods apologist, but he is flawed, he’s a mere mortal just like me–mistake and poor decision prone. In his “return” to the endorsements, Nike recently released a solemn looking, a vulnerable Woods gazing into the camera with his late father speaking; inquiring of Woods

“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?”

Did you learn anything? For Nike and Team Tiger this hits home to his recent struggles, yet the late Earl Woods comments can be applied to almost any situation. Did you learn anything? Did we learn anything? Virginia governor Bob McDonnell recognized April as Confederate History Month, but with one glaring omission from the proclamation: no word regarding the historical account of slavery in the state. According to Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz “…Virginia’s chief executive issued a Confederate History Month proclamation that was so horribly flawed, so politically tone-deaf, that he had to apologize within 24 hours.” What have learned? Would we rather glean over the difficult periods in our history and pretend it never happened? When we tell history, who’s history are we telling?

McDonnell subsequently apologized and amended the proclamation to include the following paragraph:

“WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history…”

In our struggles, when we retell our histories, what will they say? Who’s truth will it be? Whether our histories are personal, as Tiger’s, or whether historical accounts of events, we all must ask–did we learn anything?


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