looking back, looking forward

The gentleman who said I was not the answer on a Facebook posting replied to my question. He simply said we needed people who looked ahead not those to looked backward. I simply replied “Fair enough” and added that I thought he was wrong about his analysis of me.

I am a historian. I do look back. When I was on the School Board before the turn of the millennium I made myself a business card which quoted the philosopher Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

A previous school board made a huge mistake that will cost us 100 desperately needed classroom teachers every year until the Red Plan is paid off. I don’t want new residents to blame me for this when I forecast this result of the plan ahead of the cuts. I do know that there is no finding the money to replace them until the end of the Red Plan. So in looking forward I am looking for ways to soften the blow. There are a number of ways to do this but being forgetful is not helpful nor is wishing the problem would just go away.

In fact, I sense in my critic’s frustration with me a guilty conscience. No one likes to be reminded that they pushed for something that had unfortunate after effects. I think a lot of the people who were unhappy that I opposed the Red Plan do not like me acting the part of the historian that won’t let them forget their mistake. They no longer want to look back at it.

But as I said to my critic who was willing to give me an answer. “Fair enough”