I Love History, But I Don’t Want To Relive It…

History puzzle

I have been a history fanatic for most of my life and do enjoy visiting many of the sites I have read about. But, I want to make it clear that I don’t want to relive history. I study it so that I can learn about how others have, or haven’t successfully lived their lives. As the old saying goes

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

I study history to celebrate our successes, but also to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes that others, in the past, have made. As Einstein said idiocy is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. There are so many tragic things that have happened in the past, that seem to just repeat themselves regularly. I can’t even count the number of wars we have been involved in and mostly for the same reasons, over an over again. Looking back we most often can’t understand why we got into them in the first place.

Too many people today are almost exclusively looking back at the “Good Old Days”. They think if they can just make the clock go backwards, everything would be better. I read history and realize that, despite these currently ugly times, we have never been better. People who were dying in the past for so many different maladies are now leading healthy lives thanks to modern medical technology. The mundane and stifling jobs of the past are now relegated to mechanical robots. I don’t want to go back to the good old days as they were really not good for way too many of us.

I study and preach history so that we might learn lessons from the past, so we don’t constantly repeat our mistakes. Perhaps the most important lesson to learn about studying history is that it is just a piece of the puzzle for living today. It helps us make a better future.

4 thoughts on “I Love History, But I Don’t Want To Relive It…

  1. I never liked history as a class option in school, but when I’m working on family genealogy, I read the newspapers they might have read, study maps, and try to immerse myself in their time. I love history that way because it has relevance to me.

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      1. I wasn’t interested for a long time, either, RJ. I didn’t want nor expect to find kings and queens. I’m not interested in joining DAR, although I could, several times over. A couple of things got me started: genetic DNA was beginning to be useful. I wanted to see if I could identify where my granddaughter’s rare recessive-gene metabolic disorder came from, if I could. (I haven’t.) Another is that my mother always believed she was mostly Irish and it was a way of connecting with my mother, who died on her 45th birthday. I thought it was a way to gift her, in a way. Sorry, Mom, to disabuse you, but your side of the family is mostly Scottish and English. Along the way, I grew interested in my Hodges relatives who were embroiled in a ten-year regional war I’d never heard of in the southwest corner of Alabama: Mitcham’s War. It was a ten-year clash beginning about 1890-1892 between the farmer class and the merchant/professional class in Mitcham’s Beat, where they lived, and across their county of Coffeeville. My family was definitely in the farmer class.

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        1. Like I said I have not done a genealogy study, but I do know that I also come from a working-class stock, but I know that my great-grandmother was a Shawnee Indian stock and some other relatives were involved in early Indiana history at Conner’s Praire near Indianapolis.

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