I Like History Because…
Not only can we learn from history, but history makes us who we are!
There are people who think history is boring – and sometimes it is. For some people, history is just about remembering a lot of dates. What happened on the 10th of July in 2003? Who knows? But history is more than just a bunch of dates. History is also the story of the world. How do we know who we are without it?
Think about it: what would your answer be if someone asked you,“who are you?” Would you tell them you are a human who lives in North America on the planet Earth? Or would it be a little more personal? Maybe you would say, “I’m Anna. I’m Brad and Janet Duffy’s daughter. I am in the 6th grade at Sir John A. MacDonald Elementary School.” I think most people would say something like that if they were asked who they were – and that is history! History is simply a story and it can be as short as what you did last night or as long as all the books in the library combined.
Now that we know what history is, the next thing we need to figure out is: why is history important? Well, just like how knowing your own history tells you who you are, the history of a country tells us who the people of that country are and world history tells us who the people of Earth are. History gives people a shared story, one they can gather around and celebrate. For example, your family may have its own traditions and heritage, but on Canada Day we are all celebrating the same thing.
You may still be wondering, however, why history is an important subject to study in school. Along with teaching us who we (and others) are, history also teaches us many important lessons. You have probably heard the old saying that we learn from our mistakes and it is true – everyone learns from their mistakes! Well, you can consider history a record of some of the greatest mistakes and successes ever made. Imagine if your parents never taught you to look both ways before you crossed the road? I bet you’re glad they did!
Humanity has come as far as it has thanks to our unique ability to learn from the past. And that is not just from our mistakes, but from the mistakes of others, too. This is something we should never stop doing! So whether it is the story of your summer or ancient history, remember that history is our story and we can learn from it.