GRE Issue Essay 127
History teaches us only one thing: knowing about the past cannot help people to make important decisions today.
History is a collection of past events. It includes the trends and patterns of people of earlier civilizations, their faith and achievements, along with the details of the lives of great men who created a niche for themselves in social, political or religious fields. All in all, history is the study that teaches us not only about the past events, but also about the cause and impact of actions taken in the past such that they serve as a source of guidance for the present and the future as well.
The achievements and developments of the past assist us in the present. For instance, the knowledge of early man in creation of weapons and various equipments has been the foundation for the tools developed today. The knowledge of making houses, planning of towns, architectural skills, helps in further enhancing these traits without wasting much time and in developing a completely new idea.
History reveals about the achievements in the areas of science, medicine, literature, mathematics, etc. To quote an example, implementations of ayurveda, homeopathy and yoga in today’s life are inspired by the developments and successes in the past. Similarly, the knowledge of mathematical calculations, astronomy, astrology, literature and famous legends are meaningfully extracted today because of the mediating role played by history.
Further, the leaders and other eminent personalities of the past act as a source of inspiration to the present generation. The biographies of Nehru, Ghandhi, Lincon, Napolean and Hitler are not merely amusements today but they definitely make one aware of certain actions and their consequences which are relevant even today. To cite an example, the use of atom bombs in Japan and its aftermaths curtailed different countries from using the nuclear weapons till date. The horrors of the world wars reflected in history warn nations against another such grave mistake. It is history that teaches leaders to restrain from dictatorship and empowers common men to retaliate it. The revolts and revolutions held in the past have set examples for the future.
The study of ancient civilizations and their origin, their belief, their actions and culture gives a deeper understanding of different religions and social norms. This in turn enables us to accept people of different backgrounds by inculcating religious tolerance which is the need of the hour in most parts of the world today.
In addition to this, there have been many gradual climatic changes since time immemorial. Historical records of such changing weather patterns make us more aware and well equipped in dealing with the climatic and ecological changes. For instance, the recent floods in Bihar (India) caused due to the Kosi river could have been better dealt with (if not averted), if the historical records of this notorious river and its highly unpredictable behavior of changing routes was given sufficient thought to.
Conclusively, history is not merely a study of past for information sake, but it gives us a foundation to progress in the fields of science, literature, law and order, politics and social customs. It empowers us with the understanding of various happenings, patterns and likely consequences of different actions in the present and in the future as well.