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1 June 2021

1 June 2021
Reading was one of the popular entertainments before TV sets or movies were affordable.  If you were educated, it is likely that you had a better quality of life because you took on everyday tasks easily, and had ample of entertainment through reading.  In June 1883, in an American magazine The Chautauquan, one question was asked, "If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound?"  An answer followed, "No. Sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion."  I am not going to challenge physics, but I guess some of us agree that something not seen or heard does not mean it was not there. I never had the pleasure to meet my father’s father, his name is not always at the tip of my tongue either; I never heard him speak, but I am sure I had a grandfather.  Going back to the tree falling episode, they also seemed to admit that if there were people around, they must have heard the falling-tree sound, and these people could pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation, and the next, to continue the wisdom, or a painful history fact.
Ask our in-house historians, they might tell you that something was hidden beneath our school swimming pool for years. What was there, I don’t know; the fact remains, we have a pool. None of us experienced WWI or WWII, but the fact remains that these two wars killed many and changed the world landscape and made history.
If we do not take initiatives into learning what happened in history, years later we would think what our forefathers mentioned was purely myth or misunderstanding. If this continues for years, nothing will be true anymore. I don’t think we can deny roots, whether you are happy with it or not personally; likewise, I don’t think we have a definitive definition on the idea of root, each to his own.
Do some research and find out what happened in history, for example, in a widely-discussed June 4 piece. Was it a movement, a conspiracy, a fact, a shame, a hoax, or a myth? Or a scar? Why does it still hurt? It also hurts when we cannot distinguish a deer from a horse.  There will be times when we will not discuss a certain issue, either by choice or by force, but we must remember not mentioning it does not make it disappear in history.  Do your best to learn to keep the history important to you.
Anson Yang