Editor's Letter: Beholden 2021

Editor's Letter: Beholden 2021

Photo by Kenwyn Alexander

Good Grit, Good News.

I remember being a child and dreading history class. I was one of those "Why do I need this?" students. The thought of memorizing dates and names to mentally regurgitate them onto a multiple-choice bubble with a number 2 pencil did not tickle my fancy. I remember learning about wars and flipping through the textbook (yes, Gen Z and young millennials—we used actual heavy books) to prepare for the source of Tuesday's disdain—the quiz. 

It's funny to think back, because now at 37, I consider myself a lover of learning about the past—it's the humanness of it that I love. In previous generations, the stories of war, redemption, sorrow, and joy remind me of the strength of the human spirit and that there really is nothing new under the sun. It creates a particular inner strength and compassion to read about people's resilience during turmoils that I have never experienced. It's a reminder to do our research and not just stick to dates and logistics, but to dive into stories of the people that lived in different times. Reading different human accounts of history, even in the darkest of times, allows us to see that there was always good news somewhere along the way. In times of change and uncertainty, what we look for is what we will find. If we look for the good, it will be there. 

This issue is filled with stories from our corner of the world where so many do so much good. Whether we are interested or not, we are beholden to those that came before us, and we are creating history for the future. On page 58 we dive into the effect of the pandemic on our current human spirit. One of the South’s greatest designers, Keith Summerour, walks us through historical inspiration in architectural designs on page 68, and a family’s personal history turns into their future legacy in The Salt of the Earth on page 92.

What will the future generations learn regarding the history we are creating? What does the future look like? As 2021 comes to an end, I hope you find or create your good news, remember that you are always creating—and if your kid dislikes a critical subject, don't stress about it.