Monday, November 23, 2009

'Happy Are Those Who Forget What They Can't Change'

Well, the end is coming nigh. And it's time for some final reflections on my time here in Vienna. I will for sure be keeping this blog going, but for the sake of my learning log, this will probably be my last entry.

There's a line from Die Fledermaus that perfectly describes Vinnese culture, 'Happy are those who forget what they cannot change'. Die Fledermaus is one of the first operas that we saw. And in the beginning I thought there were some things that I should probably forget about completely to really enjoy myself. And I think that that philosophy of forgetting things that you can't change to be happier is true to an extent. But eventually, one's past will always catch up with them.
I've learned here that you can't ignore history; personal, national, or otherwise. I feel that it's what many Austrians tried to do with their involvement in the war. And their denial of their part in the third Reich certainly did catch up with them on a world scale with the Waldheim Affair. Sometimes it doesn't pay to forget about your past. Being here has only further cemented my love for history and the lessons that we can learn from studying it. I feel like I know Maria Theresea, and Fraz Joseph, and Sisi, and Rudolph. I've been in the places where they've lived, their summer homes, their graves. And I've learned much from them. I've also seen many of the scars left by the war. And although some of these scars may be difficult to see, Mathausen zum beispiel, it's important to see these scars so that further wounds won't be made in the future. I'll be sad to leave Vienna. I've learned some important lessons, and made some history of my own. And while some of the lessons were painful to learn, I hope never to forget them.

1 comment:

Lindsey & Jared said...

Wow! I can't believe you are almost done there! I have enjoyed living vicariously through your experiences immensely! I cannot wait to see you and hear all about it!