I feel very blessed to live in a town with an old Mission. We happen to live in a county that has two historic missions. Often, when I am just passing by, I go into the sanctuary to pray. It is so therapeutic for me. Just breathing in the air that has so much fascinating history just thrills me. The passion of the Spanish people that came here believing they could make all the difference in the lives of the people that inhabited this land for centuries astounds me.
Does civilizing people make them better people? How is one interpretation of civilization better than another? When conquering one area the Spanish monks would bring a bell even to the spot where a camp or possible mission would be, and dividing the hours of the day was one of the first changes that would be implemented on the people that inhabited the land.
I get that we can’t change history. We have to ascertain from history what we would do different so we don’t make the same mistakes ever again. So many people though time have been oppressed, enslaved, and beaten down because the ones doing the conquering believed their method was better. When I am at the mission I think about the people that had a distain for the monks, and those that wanted to believe they were being led into a better direction. The artists that painted the walls given a different opportunity, the ones learning music feeling elation, the ones feeling like they were prisoners. Being among the artifacts and the ruins conjures so many different emotions. Ultimately, I go with the feelings of elation. As much as there is truth to the fact that people have been oppressed since the beginning of time. We as humans are getting better about being just towards one another. Oh sure, we are not there yet, however as long as we make strides to do better, and live fulfilling lives as we help each other along the way…we are going to get there!