Heritage Mississauga would like to express their support for the people of Ukraine, our Ukrainian communities, and all those affected by the conflict.
We share the concern and sorrow felt by their friends and families here in Mississauga and around the world.
We pray for a peaceful resolution.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905
Heritage Mississauga’s Historian, Matthew Wilkinson, reflects on the current conflict in Ukraine and how we can learn from the past.
“The current war in Ukraine, along with rising tensions and conflicts elsewhere in the world, and not to mention two years and counting with a pandemic, draws people like myself to reflect on, and explore, our history and to draw connections with moments from our past.
While history cannot pretend to be an accurate prognosticator for what is to come, the study of history does make you wonder if we are condemned to repeat the past.
While we can certainly find parallels with past and current conflicts and health challenges, personally I do not think we are condemned to repeat our past as much as we perhaps do not grow and learn over time as much as we collectively think we do.
Despite successive generations building on and off of one another, despite the passage of time, despite advances in technology, and despite the fact that history can teach us things about ourselves, other people, and events that led us to where we are, it seems that human nature in itself, in a broad sense, fails to evolve at a similar pace – that is, it is not the study of history that lets us down, but rather it is ourselves that do not live up to our expected standards, which are shaped in many ways by our understanding, or lack thereof, of our intertwined histories.
History does not tell us what we should do, or what will happen, or how we should collectively respond to stresses and challenges, but it does shine a light on the good, bad, and ugly of the collective human experience – and to humankind’s immense capacity for inhumanity when thinking of conflicts.
And the shining light provided by the exploration of our histories should be something that illuminates our collective consciences and our respective paths forward in the days and years ahead.
History tells us one thing for certain: we can do better, and can be better for one another.” – Matthew Wilkinson
If you would like to help, please visit the following for various campaigns to help the people of Ukraine:
#PrayForPeace #Ukraine