Everyone’s daily lives are based on the foundation of history. Each unique experience and action forges a person’s character and values, and though some wish they could change their past, it is a permanent and valuable part of their current self. Everyone has their own story and past, which is what makes human beings unique and different. It is undeniable that a person’s past is part of their present personality, and the same applies to the history of the world and the country. America, or no other country for that matter, would be the same without past events, no matter how tragic they may have been. This logic does not validate any past actions, but it also does not give people an excuse to forget the past.
People are naturally drawn to their family history. Many people wish to know more about their origins and find out if their ancestors were significant figures within history. Families and ancestors build a foundation for people to begin their lives. While someone does not have to follow into the footsteps of their families, it is best for everyone to have a starting point. If everyone has a foundation to build their own life, more people can become happy and productive members of society. People naturally want to know who built that foundation for them and how their actions and choices have shaped them into their present selves. The history of a country is no different. We should be drawn to discover our origins and find things to take pride in.
People make mistakes and so do countries, but the important thing is the ability to move past mistakes. In America, slavery is considered one of the darkest stains on the past, and a country should never repeat those atrocities in the present day; however, it cannot be forgotten as a piece of the past. The Holocaust was another horrible abomination, and though it was terrible, the world now knows to take action earlier when someone like Hilter begins to take power. We have seen the effects it can have, and the more people who are aware of the events surrounding it, the more likely we are not to let it happen again. There are countless other events regarding the mistakes of the past; however, the ability to move on from those events truly showcases the strength of a nation.
People must also be active in their search for knowledge and historical information. Textbooks and secondhand accounts may be helpful, but they can also be construed to a personal opinion. Primary sources are the best resource out there, as they tell true accounts rather than those from people trying to censor events. Some think that history must be cleansed to create a better reputation, but erasing history is never the answer. The past is the best template we have to build the future, and what good is a rulebook missing half the pages? Censoring history creates changed perceptions of the future and is only done when someone wants to push a narrative. Censoring parts of history will only cause harm to future generations because history is known to repeat itself.
Although not everyone has the desire to become a historian and devote one’s life to studying specific documents and fragments of the past, everyone should listen a little more intently to their teachers. People should take trips to one of the many great museums around the world and appreciate the countless choices and events that happened to create the present world we live in. Though it may not all be happy and good, even the worst things have laid the foundation for so much knowledge. The past is an open book to teach us how to live, and everyone can benefit from reading a few pages.