Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Thought for the Day: Learning from the Past
Amanullah De Sondy
Good Morning – BBC Radio Scotland – Wednesday 14th May 2008
An online archive of the original Scottish Parliament was launched this week. The records cover almost 500 years, until the Parliament ended in 1707. They show how politicians were arguing over fuel shortages, binge drinking and the credit crunch as far back as the 13th Century.
We might think our current politicians have heated debates, but thank your lucky stars you're not in the chamber back in the days where members were known to bring swords. Then debate often descended into duels, punch-ups and arrests.
We have much to be proud about in the re-establishment of our parliament in Edinburgh. Just last week I had the honour of giving the Parliament's own 'time for reflection'? And as I entered the chamber I could feel the immense pressure that I'm sure politicians must feel. They are expected to fulfil the dreams and ambitions of the nation, not a simple task.
Watching the current politicians, and this news about the online archives, made me think about where we are, where we came from and where we are going. The fact that issues of the past seem to be repeating themselves in Scottish society and therefore politics is one that should concern us all. I guess this is the very nature of history it’s there to constantly remind us of sorting ourselves out.
The Qur'an is full of historical stories, especially of prophets who all seem to go through some worldly hardship, which is overcome through submission to God. Had it been in the nature of human beings to learn from one example then quite possibly God would have sent just one prophet or even one religious text? Is the crux of the matter that our memories are flawed, at times short term? The past places a burden on us, pushing us to remember the good and bad. So let us all start a new day, which moves forward in view of the past. We must all consider that age-old saying, if we don’t learn from the past we’ll end up repeating it.