OPINION: History lesson: Doomed to repeat?

Published 9:26 am Friday, April 22, 2016

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This is a saying I have heard many times over my life, but it never really stuck. After completing this year’s Profile special section, I started thinking more about history and how we got to where we are today. I began to think about how much I knew about history and how much I desperately needed to learn.

I don’t really think students and individuals today understand how important our history is, whether it be family history, state, national or global. Not enough emphasis is put on history, in my opinion, and therefore we have people growing up who don’t even know the fundamentals.

If we don’t even know the fundamentals, how can we safeguard ourselves from falling back into those mistakes made so long ago?

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If we don’t know what started World War I, how can we be sure that World War III won’t be on the horizon?

If we don’t look back over the years and see the attributes and characteristics we liked and disliked in leaders, how can we be sure that we don’t vote people in who are toxic for our country?

If we aren’t careful in what we pass and do not pass, how can we later complain when things don’t go our way?

It’s just a little food for thought. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I can already see, in my limited life experience, how some past issues are making their way to the forefront once again. Why is that? Because we as individuals, states and a nation have not thoroughly looked at our past to determine what we will and won’t allow back into our future. Some may say that history is boring, but if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you can’t know where you are going. Our pasts shape our presents and futures so much, and to ignore our history is just foolish.

Were I to go back to school for another degree, it would be history. I was one of those who never really saw history as important or as relevant to my life, but once I got into college I began to see what all I had cheated myself out of. Now, I regret not pouring myself into the background of our nation and not showing more of an interest. There’s nothing I can do to alter that now except continue to search for the knowledge I wish I had longed for back then.

I challenge you all to take a look at history and see some similarities that are rearing their heads today. What will you do to keep yourself from repeating history?