The Alumni Trip is off to a great start. We landed in Athens and
settled in to our hotel underneath the shadow of the Acropolis. Today
we walked all day in the withering heat and saw one magnificent array
of human history. At times, my mind wondered to Ezekiel 36 and the
Valley of the Dry Bones, wondering if these bones could talk again.
Mostly, I wondered about us, about Westmont, about the U.S. , about the
world. The great Greek and Athenian historian, Thucydides once observed
that we study history in order to understand human nature and the various pressures and circumstances in the hope that past history will lead and guide us to a better outcome. The story of Greek history is more akin to studying history only to watch it repeat itself.
Tomorrow we continue in Greece. The nation is on its heels. It is alarming to see the high unemployment rate and the casual disregard of its history. Athens was once the intellectual epicenter of the known world. It still has a vast and compelling history. But today it has been surpassed. Even the brightest of the Greeks wants to travel and interface at the places where the best and the brightest gather. Mostly, I want to understand how this great civilization arose, gained ascendance, then power, then eventually overran itself and began to fall into decline. But how does each new generation renew itself? That is the question for tomorrow.
Gayle D. Beebe from Athens