Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Are We Really Making History?

Do you want to make history? Sure you do! You want to do something so important that it's historic.

But, making history isn't easy. It takes something absolutely phenomenal to make history. It's pretty rare when what you do is so noteworthy that it actually makes history.

Or is it? Here are a few headlines of some people who were able to make history in just the past few weeks:

"8 Winners Make History at 2019 Spelling Bee"--For the first time in history, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with more than two winners. Eight kids tied for first place.

"Toronto Raptors Make History with First Trip to NBA Finals"--Spoiler Alert: they didn't just make the finals, they won the finals, making them the first Canadian team in history to win the NBA Championship.

"2019 Sound Designer Tony Awards Make History"--Jessica Paz, co-sound designer for Hadestown, became the first woman to be nominated and also the first to win for the Best Sound Design of a Musical category at the Tony Awards.

"Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic Make History in 2019 NBA Awards"--It was the second time that the NBA Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year were awarded in the same year to players who were born outside the United States. (So, despite what the headline says, they really didn't make history, they just repeated history.)

"Argentina Make History, Canada Labour to Win"--At the FIFA Women's World Cup (soccer), the team from Argentina played Japan to a 0-0 draw, earning the team one point in the standings. It was the first point the Argentine women's team had ever earned in World Cup play. (Yes, they "made history" by playing in a scoreless game. Hooray for history!)

Are we really making history?

All these things are wonderful achievements (well, except for the 0-0 draw), but are they really historic? I guess that depends on how you define history. If you define history as something that will be in future history books and taught at schools in history classes, then none of these headlines depict events that actually made history. (In the far-flung future, nobody will care about the 2019 Tony Award for Best Sound Design for a Musical.) (Heck, in 2019 very few people care.)

However, if you define history as an event or achievement that somebody might find noteworthy, then we all are making history every day. Everything we do might be historic to somebody. You might make history by losing ten pounds this week. Someone else might make history by getting up for five days in a row without hitting the snooze button on their alarm. I might make history by doing six loads of laundry in one day.

So, go ahead and make some history. You might even get your own headline. (Just don't expect it all to be truly historic.)

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