The general education curriculum requires students to take a credit involving human history. Despite this attempt to continue rounded education found in earlier years, many students fail to see the importance of historical knowledge. Knowing the mistakes of the past are pivotal in stopping history from repeating itself. There is so much we do not know, both in the past and future. History, I believe, holds the key to both of these.
Paris, North Korea, ISIS. The news is plagued with tragedy and violence. With increasing technology and the perpetually changing international landscape the world will be called to solve problems never before seen. Looking to the future for answers we hinge our fate on theoretical statistics and questionable candidates. Young minds are a promise in finding solutions to modern problems, but perhaps answers lie in the complex history the world has left behind.
My appreciation for history came with the revelation of its absence in other countries. My high school hosted two foreign exchange students from Germany. Upon taking one of our history classes we were shocked to hear that in eleven years of education, world war II and the holocaust had been untaught. Although another holocaust seems impossible today, genocide has occurred many times thought the world, and could one day happen again.
Besides world events, there is also a hidden world of women’s history. History as we have come to know it, is only half the tale. The books, manuscripts, and plays we use to evaluate and understand generations before us, particularly in ancient times, were written by men and from their perspective. This leaves a hidden world of rich traditions and women’s culture lost in the past. But there are remnants of women’s world left. They did not completely vanish, women have left traces of their history in secret texts, artifacts, and in stories past down.
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I encourage everyone to delve into history. Whether that be on your own time with a book, as a general education course, or by watching documentaries. There is so much more to learn, and I truly believe a deep understanding of the past with brighten the future for millennials and generations to come.
In the case of women’s hidden history, I highly suggest the informative and deeply moving series called The Ascent of Woman. We learn of ancient civilizations that existed completely without sexism, the deep history of oppression, and the secret workings of women’s expression through reading, writing, and fashion.
Amanda Foreman’s (lead and creator of the series) book The Ascent of Woman: A History of Women from the Apple to the Pill will be published later this year in 2016.
However it may be, pick up a book, turn on the tv, go out and explore history.