The study of history has value only to the extent that it is relevant to our daily lives

Essay by ckr123 December 2006

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Is the study of history valuable only to the extent that it is relevant to our daily lives? In a society that worships efficiency, it seems a plausible judgment. But from my point of view as a college graduate, there are some good reasons for studying history not closely relevant.

Some said the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn. The seemingly acidic saying points out that many mistakes happen again and again even we know them from history. If the goal of studying history is to correct and prevent such mistakes, it looks like that we are not reaching the goal. Then why should we study history?

History records the activity of human in all times. The life style, social structure, economy, and crucial events that affect many people are described in history. A large part of culture is carried in history. If we want to recognize who we are, we need to look in the history to find out who our ancestors are.

A group needs common points to make every member feel like a part of it. If they do not, this group might disappear. For example, there are many aboriginal people in Taiwan. Some are fused into current people while some kept intact. Those who lose their history cannot identify themselves from others that their tribe disappeared. History provides information to unify a group and tell us our identity. This is the basis for a nation to exist.

It is easier for people to deal with things with past experiences. Some parts of history are relevant to our daily lives but some are not. But we never know what our lives would be in the future. If we abandon those parts not relevant to current lives, we might just throw away...