Thank goodness for museums. They remind us of what came before. How people before us lived and what was important to them. They remind us of our place in time. Future generations will look at museums with items that represent our lives.
The items in the museum are like a tangible representation of what life was like during particular times. So there can be items from gold rush periods, of war times, of the Great Depression and of times of more prosperity. These items represent the burdens and joys each generation faced.
The items also highlight the different groups of people. Not everyone during a particular time period had the same experience. Finding items that represent women or men's experience of war time for example tell us very different things. And then we can break it down further and remember that not all women had the same experience. Some women were actively engaged in work outside the home, others worked within the home, others again were on the fringes of the mainstream society.
I can only wonder how our contemporary society will be represented in a museum of the future. How can the complexities and struggles of our society be captured in a museum? Digital images and story telling devices, some of which haven't yet been discovered, will probably help. Whose stories are privileged? Whose stories are denied or dismissed? What political spin is put on stories so that dominant society members' voices linger into the future? Who can check that those people who don't have voices now might have voices in the future?
Thank goodness for museums. If nothing else I can feel that my life will be represented in the future for others to learn from. My life is more valuable if people in the future learn from it, work to understand it and grow and develop as a result.