On History and its Purpose

  By Nigel F. Tan, August 1 2007; Revised
I made an important realization why history is being studied at school. It all started with a very complicated maze book I bought from a book store. When I started going through the maze, I often get stuck up on a dead end and had to go and backtrack my way. After nearly forever, I found my way out of the maze by going through many backtrackings. Now, what has this to do with history? Well, the world we live travels in very complicated, uncomprehensible maze, namely time, and there are certain parts where we get stuck. Only when we, the people of the world, just turn our heads and look back at their past, then the world will progress for the better, but also at the same time, we must look forward into the future, while being aware of the present, to achieve a better world. Want evidence? look, The period of ignorance and chaos (Namely the middle ages) was ended when people looked back at the free world of the Greek and the Romans, integrated this freedom to their current time, which resulted into the Renaissance Era, an era that marked the end of the age of ignorance and ushered in the modern world. On the other hand forgetting history can result into devastating events. Example: no one wanted to remember the horrors of World War 1, so, just after two decades of peace, World War 2 became inevitable.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we can forget about the details, places, names, objects, and dates, those are just there to help us remember, but we must never forget what happened in the past, we must continue to look both at the past, the present, and the future for a better world. To end, I would just like to quote our country's national hero, Jose P. Rizal:

"Ang sino mang hindi tumitingin sa kanyang pinanggalingan, hindi makararating sa kinaroroonan."
"Those who forget where they're from, will never reach they're destination."