2004-09-28 - 7:53 p.m.
Today I ended up talking with children about good vs. evil.
It was a dinky little lesson about looking at historical pictures from around the period of the American Revolution. However, we got into a whole class discussion on slavery and racism and the evil people do. We also discussed tarring and feathering which, in light of the recent examples of torture everyone has seen on TV, the kids found really shocking. They seemed to empathize with the poor British tax collector, just doing his job, who found himself being attacked.
They asked me, somewhat plaintively, who were the good guys? I had to tell them, there aren't any good or bad guys. There are people, with great ideas like liberty and equality and flawed realizations of those ideas. We actually had a good discussion about how a lot of it depends on your point of view.
It's not feel-good history ... but, in the end, it gives a better, more understandable picture of why we have some of the same problems today.