We, humans, spend a lot of time repeating our past – our mistakes, the patterns that we know are problematic for us, and the way we communicate with each other. After all, we’re creatures of habit. We continue patterns that we think may have worked for us in the past but in reality, we’re deluding ourselves. As we ring in the 76th anniversary of India’s freedom, let’s celebrate Independence Day by learning meaningful lessons from the past.
History is a great teacher and a source of true wisdom. It is the story of the past and a form of collective memory. It tells the story of who we are, and where we come from, and can potentially reveal how we’re looking towards the future. But history is rediscovered all the time.
Sometimes it is rediscovered because new information comes to light, perhaps from an archaeological find or classified documents. But such discoveries also require rebuilding a cultural or national narrative. History is a collective memory formed through culture. So much of our identity is both shaped and bound by our history. Not just the history of our country but also our personal history. Therefore, dealing with the past, in deciding on which version we want, or on what we want to remember and forget, can become so emotionally charged.
Our goal, today, should be to employ specific ways to use our past experiences and the past experiences of others to become more effective, more productive, and even wiser. The past is a treasure chest filled with learning opportunities for our present and future, but only if we look inside. Let’s understand how history allows us to comprehend more.
1. Our World
History shapes our opinions of the various aspects of society – like technology, government systems, and even society as a whole – making us understand how it evolved through the years and has progressed today. Looking to people who have faced and overcome adversity can be awe-inspiring. We can educate ourselves by learning from the great people of history who successfully worked through moral dilemmas. And also ordinary people who persevered through courage, strength, and protest.
2. Society & Other People
History tells us a lot about human psychology and behaviour. We are able to evaluate war by looking back at previous events and learning how different aspects shaped the decisions our country took back them. And how today, we can reform our choices and decisions by using the data of the past. History helps us become better, informed citizens.
History provides us with a sense of identity. It built the identity of communities as well as the identity of our country, which is why history is one of the most important subjects in school. Historians have been able to understand how countries, families, and groups were formed by studying the past, and furthermore how they evolved and developed over time. If you take it upon yourself to deep dive into your own family history, you’ll be able to comprehend how your family interacted with a larger historical change.
4. Present-Day Issues
We can better understand present-day issues by asking questions about why things are the way they are and why they were the way they were in the past. History sets a reference, and we can further evaluate what we did right, or wrong back then compared to what we’re doing right or wrong today. How have past events influenced the shaping of our world and our global political system today?
5. The Process Of Change Over Time
Only through the study of history can people understand the reasons behind changes that took place over time. If we want to truly understand why something happened, we need to look for all the factors that took place earlier. We also learn from past atrocities against groups of people; genocides, wars, and attacks. By living through this collective suffering, society has been able to take these warning signs into consideration and fight against them in the present day.
Ultimately, all people and cultures are living histories, through languages, traditions, religions, and more. We inherit our genetic makeup from those who lived before us, our families. Knowing and understanding these connections gives us a basic comprehension of the condition of being human and a part of something larger than us.