Hometown Tales Podcast

Friday, February 18, 2005

History relieves stress!

History truly kicks ass.

History is a measuring stick of how far we've come. It's a link with our culture, our heritage. It's the eternal reminder of what mistakes we need to avoid.

Plus, it's a wonderful stress reliever. Consider it: you can look back on times in your own life and feel good in saying, "Whew, I'll never do that again." Yet, on a grander scale History is a source of great catharsis. The notion of catharsis comes from the ancient Greeks: " A purifying or cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, as an effect of tragic drama on its audience."

Basically we're talking that History, just as the ancient Greek tragedies, gives us all a tremendous sense of "Wow! That sucks. Thank God that didn’t happen to me!!" The ancient Greeks who watched the production of Oedipus saw the play's hero kill his father, bang his mom and rip his eyes out when the truth is revealed. At the curtain call, the entire audience said, "Wow! That sucks. Thank Gods that didn’t happen to me!! I feel so purged and free of stress."

It goes with History. If you're feeling stressed or cloudy, read up on the Spanish Inquisition, the Bataan Death March, Stalin's 5-year plan, the Cherokee's Trail of Tears and soon you'll be moved to say "It must have really sucked, back then! I've got nothing to complain about."

Have trouble with your boss? Job got you down? Read on!

In 1604, Countess Elizabeth Bathori was obsessed with her fading beauty. She came up with idea that her youth would be regenerated if she bathed in the blood of a virgin ... daily. So she killed one of her serving girls and smeared blood over her face and body. By the time she was caught, some 650 young girls had been killed to serve her vanity.

Let’s all say it together, "Whew! Thanks god that didn't happen to me. I feel much better, now."