The Advantage of Studying History

The Advantage of Studying History



History can come in handy if we really appreciate what it does give, what‘s link it has to our present and to the future. It is of much importance if we know how to read what it contains, more analytically and critically.

It has been widely disseminated, fallaciously, that history is the mere past, the already happened events; it has been thereafter omitted that it should be viewed as much genetic and transferrable as it actually proves itself. To say simply that history is closely interconnected with the present and future is not to say anything disputable; yet what is worth mentioning is the fact that the most significant, beneficial portions of history can be scarcely, if never be, shown; but it is about what we hardly endeavor to look for. For instance, mainstream media and education cannot teach us what is great about history, or in a more general sense, how we can learn from history, but out of all the two shall we glimpse the useful!

The American Historian, Howard Zinn, was never wrong when he stated “whoever controls our history determines our future”. Uttering history in his statement, Zinn intimated to a sort of systematic knowledge that provides one with power. It is some aspects of Foucaultian thought for who considers the historical knowledge as leading and powerful, that is the more we ignore our history the more we lose control of our future. Likewise, we would take less advantage of our near future unless we had such deeper insights into the distant and recent future.

Let’s consider an example; and before we exemplify, let’s ask: what are we expected to believe, as lay people, after any terrible event happening in the world? We are expected to condemn, to say “yes, true what they say”, depending on no more than our knowledge of the new history, to seek the shallow causes, those which are not deeply rooted in far history. We are not allowed to look beyond the happening event. Regarding the 9/11 attacks, we barely ask: what has been the reason that rendered terrorists as terrorists? We should never omit the importance of turning questions around, asking contrarily, orienting the question to a more controversial side of the inquiry. How come, if we asked, instead of what are the reasons that pushed terrorists to bomb the US, what are the reasons that made the US be bombed? It is, in fact, our knowledge of history that leads us to appreciate that importance.

The one often misjudges the Sahara issue; more controversially, he doesn’t view it as a continuing result, a sum of historical factors that needs to be investigated carefully. Any attitude towards the Rifi development projects or the Israeli siege of Jerusalem must be irrational if it is not based on a critical view of history. Events happening in the world are only some scenes of the story that has started long before. They are composed of parts; we should then examine each part, re-gather them again, we notice how much they are coherent, and we, in fine, can be able to understand the plot. In short, the study of history is of great value, it is essential because we cannot stand without voicing our view about what it has been going on, we have to study what is put in and left out recorded history, and start a new era of free learning after a long extensive schooling.