Has the study of history made you a better person?
Answers and Views:
Answer by Sarah
Of coarse, it makes you a well-renowned and better rounded person. It is my major, so it should make me a better person, I hope.
Absolutely. “We can learn from our mistakes” – just take your own historical life’s history. That alone makes you smarter and probably better. If your best friend is allergic to peanut butter and you didn’t know it and gave her/him half of your PB&J sandwich back when you were in kindergarden – and your friend had a reaction – well history has taught you not to give peanut butter to friend. So you are a better friend and I would say your a better person for it.
Now, I may simplified the idea of how History can make you a better person but the basic notion is the same. We can use the knowledge gained from the past to help us communicate better with people different from ourselves. For example, you have an exchange student from Sweden come to your school, you can read a book on Swedish history to better understand there way of thinking and make them feel more comfortable – makes you a better person in my book.
Personally, I work at a Bank – and I was a history major in college – but my interest in history has helped me understand trends in the market and helped me understand what clients want to do. Also, knowing some of the bad things that have happened in parts of my industry – I can ask the right questions so that problems don’t develop later (now I don’t know how old you are – I can tell you right now, in your life – one the most important things you will do is try and anticipate possible problems BEFORE they occur – and history will help you).
I kind of wonder why you are asking this question. I sort of think you may be a young kid and doesn’t like history – as a historian, I can’t understand that (for instance – I’m a guy and I can’t understand how woman can enjoy shopping – I hate shopping). History to me is a lot of fun – in todays world of computers and video games, the imagination isn’t as used as it used to be but when I used to write a lot – history was a great thing to use as a medium for a story. Imagine how someone just like you living 200 years ago – aren’t you curious to know what they did for fun or what they ate or what they feared.
History can also help you understand how the United States came from a tiny bunch of English colonies to the greatest nation in the world. How a bunch of guys got together in Philadelphia in the 1770’s with this idea of freedom and liberty. Today, I don’t think most people understand the miracle this country is – it really is a miracle, it was seen by the rest of the world as a great experiment. This freedom has been the catalyst to so many great invention in the world – unquestionably the US has made the world a better place, a place the greatest minds in world come to work. All of this knowledge has directly and indirectly made you a better person – you’ve learned things that enable you to present a point of view to your parents, teachers, friends or boss.
Another crazy historical event that I often think in amazement – man learned to fly in 1903 – and 66 years later we put a man on the moon. Compare that with something I mention earlier – Columbus founded the New World 1492 – it took 300 years to establish a real country- yet in 66 years, man took a rickety plane to fly 20 yards to 250,000 miles in space to the moon. I’m not sure if that makes you a better person – to me it’s just an amazing historical thing I want to share with you (feel free to use in class).
Does all this make you a better person – does all this history mean anything to you? Well I would say yes. All this knowledge has made you well rounded, able to understand different points of view. Don’t forget – history is infinite – it’s always growing with every second that passes. Learning history isn’t confined to something that happened 200, 300 or 1,000 years ago but as something as far back as yesterday, last month and last year.
I hope I made my point but I love history. Just to let you know – I’m not some old man in a wheelchair and I’m a history teacher deep down inside but I picked the wrong career – don’t to that – find something that you love (like I’m sure History is after you read this exciting block of words).