GRE Issue Essay 18
“If people disregard the great works of the past, it is because these works no longer answer the needs of the present.”
If we study the past we will realize that there have been great discoveries and works in the past which in today’s times seem to be minuscule. While it must have been a breakthrough in the past and the basis of many technologies being developed today, there are other important things that overshadow its importance. However, this does not mean that the great works of the past can be disregarded as ones having no place in today’s world. These works may not be as practical today as they have been earlier, but they still are basic to many other technologies. We would not have been able to see the world as it is today but for these works of the past. The relevance of the works done in past is great even today since it teaches us and helps us in further development.
Great inventions take place only by the efforts of some great minds. It is not in the capacity of all to think and invent new things. Once a new invention comes to light, it seems to solve a lot of problems. Along with solving problems, it helps in further study and higher inventions. It, therefore, becomes a stepping stone for further development.
When the wheel was introduced in the world, it became the most important and useful invention. People began using the wheel to carry loads. It also helped in making things like pots, toys etc. It soon began to be used for commutation as well. Today there have been a lot of modifications and developments that would have been impossible without the wheel. Had it not been invented in the past, we would not have been as advanced as we are today and would have waited for some great work to invent such a miraculous thing. While today we hardly wonder about this great invention, life is unimaginable without it.
There are also some such inventions of the past which have lost their relevance today. It is true that with the passage of time and development of newer and better things these inventions are no longer practical. For example, in the age of e-mails, telephones and satellite connections, there are very few who use the telegraph for communication. Today people have even forgotten about this mode of communication. While a computer can be seen at every workplace as well as household, people have never even seen a telegraph. However, when the telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse, it created a revolution in the world by bringing it closer. There were no other means of communication that could match up to the telegraph. Today, the relevance of telegraph may has reduced but its importance and invention cannot be ignored or disregarded. Although it is not used as often as other means of communication, the invention of a telegraph has provided a breakthrough in the field of communication for other developments. It is only with the development of such a thing that people came to know of communication through electric cables. It is this thought that was developed further to make telephone cables and eventually satellite connections to bring the world closer.
Hence, instead of disregarding a work of the past as unimportant and impractical, it should be taken as a learning experience. Today’s scientists, engineers, astronauts and doctors must take the past as their guide. History has always been a great teacher and we not only learn from the mistakes done by people in the past but also are guided and helped by their glorious works.