"Why does history matter, class?"
"Because the past shapes the future!"
I've heard history teacher after history teacher say that same thing year after year in my many years of public education. Never have I sat down to really realize how true it is. Yes, WWII obviously shaped policies and behaviors and there was that ever-popular baby boom that we blame overpopulation on. Charles Manson based his theories on the Bible and the Beatles and killed seven celebrities and we locked our doors at night. A man some thousand years ago died on a cross to save our souls and we worship Him. Things happened, we reacted, and now we call it history. The past, it shapes our future and everything we stand for. The past, on a national, even global level is important to our foundations, do you agree?
Yesterday, for some reason, I thought a lot about my own history. We each have a history. We each have a past. If there is a present, there is a past, no? And in the past, we came to believe the things we believe in now. I ask myself the question, "How did I get here?" How did I come to be who I am, how did other people come to perceive me the way they do, how did I come to make the decisions I make? In understanding all of these, I must understand from the beginning, from the first stages, the first steps, the first thoughts.
Charles Manson killed celebrities because of wildly misconstrued theories and philosophies of Heleter Skelter, but where did that come from? His childhood? His allegedly unfortunate upbringing? Before the Bible and the Beatles, Charles never really had a family. He was brought up by his drug addict mother and boarding schools and eventually, detention centers and juvenile hall. His past shaped him. He took in outcasts into his cult maybe because he himself was an outcast that needed to belong.
Christ died on a cross. Why? For love, for a fallen world that needed a savior. Obviously, people were in need of a savior. Their decisions, their behaviors were wretched and needed someone to save them from their own habits. And Christ did just that.
So where does that leave me? With a past. I reflect on that past instead of pushing it to the curb to realize, to understand, what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. This might seem obvious, but have you really thought about it? I get upset because I make stupid decisions, but I pass them off. Then, sooner or later, I make them again and it becomes this viscous cycle. For example, I'm a horrible student. I don't study for anything. What does being unprepared lead to? Right. Horrible grades. Everytime I find that I get a bad grade on something, I'm seriously upset. Well of course I am! I haven't put in the work for it! But the next class comes and I fall into the same habit, the same cycle. What I need is change. I need to change those study habits to get a better grade and feel better about my success in school.
My past affects my future. Obvious and clear,I know, but it's the truth.
Just a thought.