History As A Cure

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History—need it be repeated?—is not just a recital of dry-as-dust events out of the musty past. It is the story of human beings, eternally meeting a challenge, eternally proving that the stuff of common humanity is capable of meeting all the hard chances of fate, always proving that when we find out what people were able to do in times of trial, years ago, we end by finding out what we ourselves can do when trouble comes along, as it always does.

Thanks to an intelligent jurist, two problem boys ended up with an understanding of these simple truths. They found they had not merely been prowling about in the musty outskirts of long-dead history—they had been looking into youth itself, and human life, and the values that are inseparable from these. They found, in short, themselves; which is to say that they found an ideal to live up to, which is about as much as any man can hope to find.

—Bruce Catton