“Your vision must be stronger than your memory”

This expression, according to Dr Nick Binedell, the founder of GIBS in Johannesburg, is a mantra that will lead any individual, organization, institution or country to a better future.

It resonates well with the Biblical expression: “Where there is no vision, the people perish (or parish!)”. (Proverbs 29:18)

But how does it resonate with the expression from Archbishop Tutu: “We learn from history that we do not learn from history”? We should desire to learn from history so that we do not repeat the mistakes of our individual and collective histories.

It is clear that history cannot simply be forgotten. Amnesia is not an option. But in faithfully learning about history from many different perspectives, how does one ensure that it does not consume you, imprison you or make you bitter and cynical? Can a knowledge of history liberate us?

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