(me waxing philosophic for a moment… don’t worry, it will pass)
Those who do not know and understand history are doomed to repeat it. This is an old adage that has been bandied around quite a bit.
But what if that “history” has gotten muddied, clouded, misrepresented, or flat-out shredded? By the very nature of things, we are now doomed to repeat…
This is one important thing about the study of history. Sure, it is great to become impassioned by something that happened in the past, some injustice done that we are at too far a remove to correct or erase.
But we can study the parts of the past, understand what brought it to pass, and how we can prevent it occurring again. We have to be able to understand and notice the warning signs that may spring up before us.
I have heard people complain that history is a course that should not even be taught. And while I might agree that the way it is taught needs some adjustment, we have to continue the study.
Glorification of past actions, the building of heroes and mythologies are a part of a nation’s conscience, but we cannot allow that to replace history. Myths are great for children too young to grasp the more complicated issues, but the deeper issues have to be made clear.
Memorizing dates, places, battles, and the names of treaties pretty much summed up the history I got in High School but it could not squelch my interest in the subject. Unfortunately, the public school system’s disservice to the subject makes most people hate history altogether.
So, it is up to us to keep the study alive. Be impassioned about the subject, but have your facts straight. We don’t want to repeat anything so dire.
We don’t want a future generation to ponder:
If we could only remember…
Maybe we’ll remember next time…
unless someone, again, hijacks the truth.