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  • Reverend James Squire

“So what did I miss?”

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

In the hit musical, Hamilton, there is a song sung by Jefferson when he reflects on the kind of things that he didn’t experience in America when he was ambassador to France living in Paris. He sings a song that bounces around in my mind. Its refrain is a catchy tune, “So what did I miss?”

I was thinking of this song as I was watching a lecture by Robert Watson before reading his book, “The Nazi Titanic”. He said that there is more about history that we don’t know than what we do know. He referenced the Law of The Unread. 99% of any books written are gone.

He reminded me of walking into my first class at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale when my first teacher was The Rev. Dr. Edward Rochie Hardy, the New York Wiz Kidd, who was only 26 when he earned his 5th academic degree. He matriculated at NYU when he was 5. He gave us a ton of reading assignments and a thick main text, and then said “I will be lecturing about the historical record that is not in these materials. You are responsible for both the readings and what I will be lecturing about in class.” That is exactly what he did. It was fascinating!

Robert Watson found a series of letters where he connected the dots about an unknown event during the last week of the Second World War. He also interviewed 100 (s) of people and read other primary sources that indicated a killing of Jewish holocaust survivors who were put on a ship during the last week of the war. They were bombed by the British who did not know what this ship contained. All the records were sealed about this tragedy until recently. No historian or holocaust scholar had ever heard of this significant historical event.

They missed knowing about the single bloodiest event during the holocaust “So what did I miss?”

One of things that is helpful doing counseling whether in person or on the phone is to ask yourself after the session the question, “So what did I miss?”. This question is particularly important when there doesn’t seem that much progress in the counseling is being made after a good amount of time. There is a certain hubris in not raising the question for you have to admit to yourself and the person who you are helping that you have been on the wrong course and a shift in approach needs to take place.

“So what did I miss?” is an important question to raise and to do so with humility. I am sure that the researchers for the Covid 19 vaccine must be raising that question each day as they are working on a successful vaccine. The Black Lives Matter movement is raising that question frequently when the lawyers, investigators, protesters, police and members of the community at large seek the truth of what really occurred in an exchange between police and someone who is a victim. This question has been a mantra by the families of those who have died.

“So what did I miss?” during the pandemic and Black Lives Matter Movement is a question that could lead the way back to some degree of a new normal.

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