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Importance of Studying History

What is so important about history? After all, it has already happened. There is nothing we can do to change it. So, what is the big deal? Actually, a vital part of a successful future is understanding the successes and failures of the past.

A leader of a country is about to make a major decision regarding another country. Knowing about that countryís past and how it has reacted before could mean the difference between a victory and all out war. History is an ingrained part of each of us. Who we are comes from our ancestors, the cultures before us, and the decisions of leaders centuries before.

History is not just about stories of dead people. It is the DNA of the world today. Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? These issues just didnít arise out of the ground yesterday. Look at the history and understand the hurt, anger, and pain. Why do we see evidence of Europe in Asia? Check the history and see how the explorers reached out and began to share culture. Why are particular days honored in cultures? Read their past and understand their present. How can we reach out to other cultures? Learn their past and understand their heart.

History is one of the greatest teachers you will ever find. Edmund Burke once said that if you wanted to avoid repeating mistakes of the past you should learn what those mistakes were and how they came about. If you touched a stove while mom was cooking and it was hot, chances are it will be hot again when she is cooking. You learn a valuable lesson. You learn the same lessons reading and studying world history, geography, and western civilization. History is a guide book laid out before you. All you have to do is pick it up and read the best advice of all -- the advice from experience.

Why study history? It is fun, exciting, and needed for your journey through the ages ahead. What better map than the one drawn by the ones who have gone before? And as you begin to see and understand the interweaving and intricacies of the past that have led us to where we are, you can add your own voice to the chorus and of those who have made the journey before you.

How do you develop an interest and enthusiasm for the past? Begin with watching movies on historical events. The History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the local PBS station offer many options. If you are interested to learn more, check your local library. You can find an amazing wealth of information on so many historical figures, events, and locations. Visit your local historical society to learn more about the town you live in. History is all around you. Check it out.

by dbking on Wikimedia Commons.

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