Pride in history

It was the knowledge of, and personal pride, in our civilisational history which enabled those of us young Asian students who had been subject to some abuse, discrimination, and the racial/cultural prejudice of the White Australia era to ignore such behaviour. But then every human tribe has its own history. Even with new nations, tribal pride (and, regrettably, prejudice) can be found.

The October 2013 issue of The Reader’s Digest points out that “the US military found that teaching recruits about the history of their service increases their camaraderie.” Better still, the journal draws our attention to this: “that children who have the most self-confidence have … ‘a strong intergenerational self.’ They know that they belong to something bigger than themselves.” Indeed, “the more children know about their families’ histories, the stronger their sense of control over their lives.”

In the increasing dysfunctionality of societies based on the ethos of individualism of certain nations of the West (refer Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The Great Deterioration’ relating to society in the USA), a strong sense of family history, or (better still) ancestral history could help us overcome any discrimination inflicted upon us by some of those in power.