Historically Speaking

Historically speaking,
It is easy to judge the
Atrocities of the past.

The individuals who commit
The unspeakable acts
Have nowhere to hide.

But what is to be done with
Those who turn a blind eye
To the present?

Historically speaking,
How should they be judged?
Ignorant or implicit?

If the past is so clear,
And the future unknown,
The present can only be blurry.

Let us hope that
Historically speaking,
The blur isn’t an excuse to be implicit…

by Cody McCullough

eyem watching

Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

16 thoughts on “Historically Speaking

  1. I was actually thinking about this today. How we can easily judge history books but it becomes harder with newspapers. Great poem.

  2. So interesting. It’s something I think about a lot – how much free will does the average person have. Unless one has a degree of self-awareness and is aware of the conditioning and compulsions that cause us to act (in Indian philosophy they call these ‘vasanas’, grooves/habits/tendencies in consciousness that compel us to act in certain ways), then a lot of our behaviour is driven by circumstances, past habits, belief systems, conditioning, expectations, etc. Yet this is no excuse for atrocities, because a sense of right and wrong is built into us – we instinctively know it’s nor right to harm others. Yet it gets overridden by people’s desires and hates and programming. The question about whether we’re ignorant or implicit is so fascinating and relevant. Lovely, thought-provoking poem 🙂

    • Thank you very much. I like to think there is truth hiding in all of my poems. Sometimes it is dark, other times it is light, and still other times it is gray. Again, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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