“Nothing New Under the Sun”
In the middle of the third century BC, one of the books in the old testament (HEB Scriptures) is Ecclesiastes, its author “Qoheleth” (HEB Preacher). In it he writes there is “nothing new under the sun” (an early existential thought). Therefore, there are really no surprises. Human beings are going to behave as they always have.
A story about an African village, in which a young man agonized over the health of his fellow villagers is telling. This young man was noted by a missionary as intelligent, insightful and deeply caring. The missionary made arrangements that enabled the young man to go to college and medical school in England. He returned years later to address the medical needs of his people and he was warmly greeted. However, when he made it known that he had knowledge, experience and medicines that could greatly help the physical maladies of the villagers, he sat alone in his hut and no one came to him. Perplexed by this, the young doctor looked for reasons and found that the villagers were still flocking to the local witch doctor for their ills, where the witch doctor would rattle monkey bones in a tortoise shell to make them well. They did not get well, but habit, tradition, custom and stubbornness had soon “won the day.” Ultimately the young doctor moved to London where he practices his skills among the poor.
Don’t be surprised, fellow progressives, about the recent election. “There is nothing new under the sun.”