L.P. Hartley said “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." In a similar way, one’s earlier self can almost seem like another person, difficult to comprehend. But the task of comprehending is surely crucial. This goes for the history of one’s society as much as for one’s personal history. It is a task of self-understanding. But also, quite often, one of charity: towards our forebears, or towards the person we once were.