People all day have been describing their role in today’s inaugural events–whether they’re spectating live or watching remotely–as “making history.” I felt some of that myself, and that played a role in the fact that I let a(n early American history) class out 5 minutes early so they could see our new president take the Oath of Office live.
Still, the impact of people’s participation in something as momentous today makes me really wish we saw our day-to-day lives as historical artifacts. I’ve been thinking about the many knitted heirlooms people brought in to Knit Purl in to be admired, repaired, copied and reknit. These physical remnants of the things we do every day–the things we take for granted and which others often mock as frivolous–are proof that the mundane is just as much a part of the history we make for ourselves as grand events like this inaugural celebration we’re all watching intently.
And that’s what’s got me really thinking. Today is important, sure, but how can we take rhetoric that makes us feel good and turn it into reality. The only answer I can think of is this: We can’t just make history on big days like today. We have to make history, with intent and vigor, on days like yesterday and tomorrow, with the little tasks we have at hand individually. We have to treat each component of our lives as a little piece of history or we may again lose sight of how much each of us individually contributes to the world around us and to the successful completion of the big tasks that face us as a nation and a planet.