November 27th, 2015 by Jan

This is the fifth or sixth year I’ve listened to the Massey Lectures. I can only recommend them.

If you’ve never heard of them, The Massey Lectures are an annual five-part series of lectures on a political, cultural or philosophical topic given in Canada by a noted scholar.

Last year, I totally loved Adrienne Clarkson, the past Governor General of Canada, speak on citizenship. It was inspiring.

This year, Margaret McMillan is giving the lectures.

They told her she could speak about anything. As a historian, she decided to talk about history, and in each of the five talks, chose a specific focal point.

So far, my favourite has been the one on hubris. She spoke how this egotism has been the down fall of leaders who have it. I guess it is too soon to speak of Steven Harper, but surely one day his hubris will be seen as the crux of his evil.

I don’t usually pay attention to academia. I don’t know why. Perhaps I continue to hide my lack of education or ignorance with a pretence of apathy. But, over the years a few things spark me and make me feel smart when I do them. Listening to the Massey Lectures each year is one of them.

History is not my favourite subject — but I will say Margaret McMillan has brought some of it to light for me. One thing she said, that I heard the loudest, is History continues to change the more we know about it.

I think everything changes when we learn more — and if it doesn’t change, we certainly do.

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