“History is boring!”
“History is just memorizing a bunch of dates.”
“Why does history matter?”
Do any of these questions sound familiar? If I had a penny for every time someone has told me history is boring, well, let’s just say I could retire now. For me, growing up I had always loved stories. In fact, from a very young age reading was my go-to activity. Once I started school I was immediately drawn to history. Why you may ask? Well, history is just a huge, on-going story that I not only get to read and study, but also create. I had a particular interest in ancient history, from the Romans to the Qin Dynasty in China. The fact that, through history I could read and understand their stories from thousands of years ago fascinated me. It gave me a connection to the past that I would not otherwise be able to have. Sitting in history class we did have to memorize the dates and events of a particular era, but we also got to listen to our teacher weave the intricate story that made up our past. How anyone could think that’s boring I don’t know.
The other question that I’ve heard a million times is why does it matter? History is the story of mankind. It tells us how we got to where we are now, while also providing us clues to what our future may hold. Studying history and retelling its stories is possibly one of the most important things we can do! I know you all have heard the saying, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. This is the biggest argument made for why the study of history is so important. I won’t say that it’s not a great argument; however, I believe there’s another reason why studying history is so important. History gives us a sense of identity. We are all creating history right now. As you sit there and read this post or run your daily errands you're adding to the great story that is our history . History helps create and define our many different and unique cultures. At its core, it teaches us who we are, while giving us the space to grow into our own individual persons. To me, that is the more important reason why we should study history.
So next time someone tells you history is boring let them know it is more than just memorizing a bunch of facts and dates. It is the story of who we are, a story that each one of us is creating right now. History is not a boring, fixed thing. It is always growing, always expanding, revealing new things we may not have known about before. To study history is to learn about who we once were while guiding us to become better for the future.