Parallels in personal and national histories | Letters
I have spent much of my professional life as a psychologist and psychotherapist, helping people come to terms with the uncomfortable and often painful realities of their life and personal history. So I was struck by the parallels to attitudes to our national history as David Olusoga ably describes them (“My job is to be a historian. It’s not to make people feel good”, June 7). The defenses are similar: suppression, selective memory, denial, delusion, distortion, myth-making, and, for a number of people, grandiosity. Ultimately, perhaps we as a nation can learn from the experience of individuals who find themselves liberated by finally facing difficult realities, past and present.
David Olusoga says “my job is to be a historian. It’s not to make people feel good. My 13-year-old grandson recently told me that he studied the British Empire at school. He didn’t like it very much: “Too many atrocities! At least his school is succeeding.
Headley Down, Hampshire
My five year old grandson saw the statue of Edward Colston on Monday. After being briefed on the background and that opinion was divided, he was asked what he thought should happen. He said the statue should be cut in half and one half put back on the pedestal.
I wonder why the bust of Nero takes pride of place in an exhibition, while the statue of Edward Colston is defaced and placed in an odd position. Both were slavers, both killed thousands, and according to the story, Nero was revered by many and Colston was a benefactor as well as a murderer. Do we perceive them differently? Why?
Hove, East Sussex