Learning World History
For some of us, World History isn’t a subject we would go eagerly to school for. Having to memorize all those dates, names, and events doesn’t appeal to us as much as solving mathematical equations or reading inspiring literary pieces. However, World History offers merits that Math or Literature can equal. As American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and author Carl Sagan wrote, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” The next time you dismiss your World History lectures and throw your World History textbook into your pile of “Not So Important” or “For Later,” read on for some insight and you’ll likely change your mind.
History fosters understanding of the present and future
Similar to what Sagan stated, it’s favourable to learn about the past because this leads to a strong understanding of the present and eventually what lies ahead. For instance, studying how people, communities, and nations interact with one another in olden times gives us a good idea about the essence of power and leadership, as well as the harrowing effects of war and conflict in societies. These are themes that are perpetual, and they are significant themes whatever decade we are in. Having an in-depth knowledge of these will then help us plan ways to manage the future and form better societies, while keeping past mistakes in check.
History promotes insight to ourselves
Globalization and multiculturalism are essential components of the modern world. However, it does not mean that we can completely do away with our roots. Learning about your roots and how your ancestors fit into the narrative of your country or your community can eventually lead you to figure out your place in the world, especially if your ancestors had to overcome struggles. This way, you gain an insight of you as an individual and be more appreciative of the roads your ancestors paved for you so you are where you are now.
History encourages research and then you can make your own interpretations
History books give us a good idea of the Five Ws and one H—Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?—but you have the choice to do your own research and form your own conclusions. Some books don’t contain all the information you need so you have to gather facts of events on your own in some cases. You can also turn to visual material, physical artifacts, as well as oral and digital sources, to obtain more information, ensuring to evaluate their reliability and credibility at the same time. Eventually, you will have sufficient information at hand to interpret and help establish your own opinions on the matter.
History expands your perspective
Having a multi-layered understanding or knowledge of world events allows you to have a perspective that not all things can be simply classified as black or white—sometimes things are in between. This means that while you may not agree with how some events took place or you may not be on board with the decisions of some world leaders, you learn how to be open-minded and be more acceptable of views that differ from your own, instead of being outright dismissive or defensive of them. World history has taught us differences between societies will always exist but we must make efforts to learn to co-exist without conflict despite those differences.
History boosts your comprehension and communication skills
An extensive knowledge of history isn’t just good for History-focused Trivia Nights with your family or friends (although that’s a good thing too especially if the price up for grabs is a luxurious vacation). Being a history buff also means that you learn things chronologically and therefore can easily pinpoint that A leads to Event B and so on. In addition, because you gain a deep understanding, you enhance your skills in communicating by sharing your findings and conclusions.
History readies you for various professions
Being knowledgeable in history doesn’t mean the career path only available to you is a history teacher or historian. In fact, there are numerous professions you can get into if you know a thing or two about history. For example, since being excellent in history means you excel in research and analysis as well, you can look into professions such as a researcher or analyst. The options are limitless. In fact, you’d be surprised that some of the world’s most respected leaders like Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Dwight Eisenhower and some of the world’s most acclaimed figures in the arts like H.G. Wells all studied or majored in history at university level.
Now that you have a comprehension of the benefits of having historical knowledge, here’s hoping that you’re more motivated now to learning even more.