Written by Gary Wonning
On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I was subject to a tirade by the tour director of a tour I was on.
He went on for twenty minutes about all the evil atrocities that Christopher Columbus performed. Obviously, since he had such an issue with Columbus and because I had gone on the trip to relax and enjoy a foreign culture, not to talk politics, I somehow forgot to leave a tip.
Without doubt, Columbus did commit some acts that it would have been better if they had never been performed. In those days people were cruel to each other, regardless of race, creed, religion or national origin.
The American Indians also are not innocent, there is much evidence of war, rape and even cannibalism before the white man appeared on the scene, they didn’t need any lessons from the white man in that regard. Regardless of where we look, there are two sides to everyone and everything. No one can go without blame.
These days the rhetoric is all about blaming someone for our own short comings. The media and most politicians are quick to jump on the band wagon when they can blame someone for an issue for ratings or political gain, regardless if the story is true or not.
Christopher Columbus began the Columbian Exchange where dozens of plants and animals were introduced to new cultures. The new world gained horses, cattle, and many grain crops and sundries. The Europeans and Asians gained potatoes, maize, sweet potatoes and many other important crops.
One writer argues that Columbus is the most influential man in history because of the changes he initiated with his four voyages, I agree.
Many want to ignore history and only focus on the negative aspects of a particular event, many times to satisfy their own agenda.
Christopher Columbus did contribute much to the world, despite his short comings, There are always two sides to an issue, that is the case in most turning points in history.
Obviously, it did not turn out well for the Indians. Columbus and others did bring disease to the new world, and the
Europeans were introduced to tobacco and syphilis, so there were negatives on both side of the ocean.
The Indians were displaced from their land , that is no small thing, but the horse and cattle and the many food crops greatly benefited their lives.
A world was created that would give them the opportunity for a better life if they so desired.
But when cultures collide, one wins and another loses, especially when the cultures are so different. It happens throughout history, If we Americans don’t remain vigilant, some day our culture will be replaced.
It is time for the universities and schools begin teaching history as it actually happened and to give credit where credit is due, many great events took place because of the actions of Columbus and those that came after him.
Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of
Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.
In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.
For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.