When you buckle into your vehicle, you check the rear view mirror; as you drive, you naturally glance up regularly to see what’s coming behind you. I was not aware how much I depended on my mirror until it fell off, and I was without it for several days. The rear view mirror is essential for safe driving. It keeps drivers up to date with what’s happening behind them. Context, one of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 34 talent themes is very similar to looking in the rear view mirror. People with strong Context have a unique ability to understand the link between where they have come from and where they are going.
Gallup explains Context further, “Perspective and background are important for people with strong Context talents. They look back to understand the present. From the past, they can discern blueprints for direction. And, counter intuitively, they become wiser about the future because they can see its seeds sown in the past.”
I have Context and Learner in my top five StrengthsFinder talents. I love to learn about history, not to look at the past, but to learn from it in order to change the future. To take your own assessment, go to Gallup StrengthsFinder official site.
I recently subscribed to THIS DAY IN HISTORY. Each day I receive an email of what happened on that particular day in history. Two significant events, separated by 82 years happened today in history that made me pause to ask,
“Have we learned anything from our past?”
The first event happened in 1865. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States died from an assassin’s bullet. Lincoln was president during the Civil War, fighting to end slavery.
He changed history when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. With one stroke of his pen, he declared all slaves to be free men.
The second significant event that caught my eye happened in 1947. Up until that year, baseball was segregated.
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke a 50 year color barrier and became the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Despite his great success, Jackie Robinson faced tremendous racial discrimination throughout his Hall of Fame career.
1865. 1947. 2016.
Another 69 years have passed, and looking into the rear view mirror at events in our country and around the world, we have not traveled very far toward oneness, equality and diversity. There is still much racial tension, and the issue of slavery has added on the current horrors of human and sex trafficking.
I echo what Martin Luther King, Jr. cried, How Long?
Other related articles:
- Abraham Lincoln on Leadership
- Ethnic Diversity and Leadership
- Hammerin’ Hank
- How Great Leaders Like Martin Luther King Cast Vision