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World History Starts Here

Imagine you have a pushpin. It is sharp and magical. Imagine you can count on your memory of yesterday being the one true memory. Extend your crystal clear memory all the way back to the beginning of time so that your scroll of history is the one true and accurate depiction. Now call up the magic of your pushpin and succinctly prink the moment in history from which you want all land ownership to be determined. Start there.

That pushpin gave you a lot of power. Beware of unintended consequences because once you pushed it, the whole world’s fate was determined. There is no going back with the magic pushpin. What real estate domination! One prick determines the whole world.

Where is this leading? Are you thinking it’s about your neighborhood or something to do with family farms or Native Americans? Does it have something to do with current African issues or missionaries and colonialists? Maybe you’re considering your fuzzy or crisp European history or today’s issues in Russia. There’s a lot to consider, really.

Could the history you assumed in one part of the world challenge your world-view in another part of the world that you didn’t know that much about? Where in time is that pushpin? Nope, can’t move it now.

ancient map 3 ancient map

Maybe this is leading to the Middle East. That history is really complicated, so where that pushpin sits can mush up religiosity and land entitlement in big ways. The same can be said for most of the world, I guess.

Hey, I’m Jewish, so it’s not inconceivable that you’re thinking this is about the Israeli and Palestinian issue in the Middle East. I forget, is that European, Asian or African history? I guess that depends on where you poked that pushpin.  A lot more of us seem to have big opinions about this particular region and topic than most other regional conflicts. Why is that?

Wait, are you wondering if this is coming from one of those Jews who feels sorry for the poor Palestinians, one of those Jews who feels fearful for her Israeli brethren, or one who will never stand aside when people make it clear that they want her dead and gone? Do you wonder which side I’m on? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know this to know how you’re supposed to feel about this whole magical pushpin?

What if this isn’t even a post about that part of the Middle East at all? What if it’s a post about Afghanistan or Nagorno-Karabakh? You may have pricked the pushpin into a spot that makes the start of these conflicts inaccurate.

Fighting Around the World

You know I’m Jewish but there are Jews on many teams. Can you determine which side I’m on? Look closely for evidence that I’m on your team. Look closer to see if you can find evidence that I’m not. If you don’t know, how will you know if this will support and confirm what you know to be true or whether it will provide evidence to the contrary that you’d rather ignore? How will you know whether to post this on Facebook? Or are you a more Google+ kind of person?

Now you want it wrapped up in some neat and tidy answer. Who wouldn’t? You’re not going to get it because tidy is a fantasy. The problem is, you can’t rely on just one pushpin.

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