Tonight I get to see the play Wicked for the very first time. I've known the entire soundtrack for ages, but was never able to see the show. Finally, the day has arrived! In honor of this outing, I'd like to share my favorite Wicked lyric:
A man's called a traitor - or liberator
A rich man's a thief - or philanthropist
Is one a crusader - or ruthless invader?
It's all in which label
Is able to persist
There are precious few at ease
With moral ambiguities
So we act as though they don't exist
As a Humanities major in college, I got to play with the cross over between English, Philosophy and History. But my concentration was History so that was predominately "my area." I've always loved history. Sometimes, knowing your context can impact you in a major way or help you better understand progression. But one thing I always noticed is that "fact" is a somewhat ambiguous creature. Some historians hate when people say that, but whether you like it or not, history is just interpretation of peoples accounts, stories, and opinions. We can pin point events that actually happened, sure. But to be a good historian you have to really consider a lot of different opinions and accounts to get an accurate picture of "what really went down."
Maybe this is why this particular lyric sticks out to me. And really it's the theme of the play, isn't it? Reputation does not always reflect truth.
(I would be the girl that listens to this soundtrack and comes out thinking about historical accuracy).
This isn't to discount that there are things that are black and white or true and false. Without a doubt there are, and I have very unambiguous beliefs and know why I believe them. But I think that questioning, is a good thing. Not questioning for the sake of questioning, but for the sake of finding truth. The the bottom line is that things in our world are complex. Gloriously complicated.