What is history? Why spend time knowing and understanding what has been? Why do some people believe that the past is worth studying for our present and future conditions?
First, let us define history. History is simply the study of the past. It analyzes and chronologically records the development of a certain person, institution, phenomena, and past events.
Why take account studying the past? History is very essential in our present and future conditions. History helps us understand fully the different kinds of societies and human behaviors. For example, how can we evaluate something that is not happening at the moment? Well, the best way is to rely on the past experiences or any other historical materials. How can we understand how a genius became a genius, how technological innovations develop, or why there are differences in the cultures of the countries in the globe, if we don’t know where it all rooted? History serves as an essential proof for the deliberation and analysis of how societies function. It can give us explanation about changes and development in the societies. Remember that today would not exist if yesterday didn’t happen, so as the future. The present depends on the past, same as the future depends on what is happening today. Only history can answer the questions like “how things change”, “what are the factors that trigger change”, “what fundamentals of the society endure regardless of change?”, and many others (Stearns).
History also gives essential contributions when it comes to ethical awareness. An individual’s experiences and circumstances in his past allow a history student to test his own moral sense, using the complexities and difficult settings that the others have already faced as his guides. An individual learn from his past. If others would also learn about it, then they would know how to deal with it once they will be experiencing it, too (Stearns).
History helps present individuality and identity. Historical facts are mostly about how groups, institutions, societies and countries were formed and evolved. I believe it is important to all of us to know where we all came from and how we were brought where we are now. Who would want not knowing who their parents are, where they can be found, and why he can’t be with them? Knowing history develops our sense of awareness, national values and commitment (Stearns).
Marwick, Arthur. “The Fundamentals of History.” 11 October 2007. The Institute of Historical Research site. 11 Octoer 2007 <http://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/Whatishistory/marwick1.html>.
Stearns, Peter N. “Why Study History?” 24 July 2007. American Historical Association. 11 October 2007 <http://www.historians.org/PUBS/Free/WhyStudyHistory.htm>.