Few adults dispute whether or not history is important. We have all been warned that not knowing it dooms us to repeat it. But despite our demise being imminent, the Midnight Writer News team believes there are other reasons to know history. Real history. True history.
There are two things often repeated about history – that it repeats itself and that it is cyclical. We would argue that the assumption that history repeats itself is not actually true in the way that most believe it to be. If true, that would assume that history is some sort of mystically singular entity devoid of human influence. Whether or not it is cyclical often depends upon a very subjective look at a cherry-picked aspect of or incident in history. We see what we want to see. We find links that may or may not apply. Yet, labeling history as cyclical, again, assumes that it had no choice other than to come around again. That repetition is its nature.
Maybe history should be seen neither as a repetitive entity nor as a cycle, but rather as a blueprint of options. Someone who understands history can study it to predict the results of decisions yet to be made. Those who do use it as a blueprint to make decisions have an expected result based upon the results of the past. There can only be so many results. History is so vast that we can study similar decisions and pinpoint the results of those decisions made at the proverbial forks in the road.
Why do they study the blueprint? Because it has been successful in they way that they define it to be. History is the study of motivations, decisions, and results – decisions often made in moments of great anguish and consequence and stemming from a variety of motivations. There are only so many results that may stem from a specific decision. Human behavior is also much more predictable that it may seem in a modern American culture where we are taught that we are singularly individual and unique.
Why should you and I study history? We should all be history students so that we can recognize where we may be headed before it is too late to alter course. By becoming amateur historians ourselves – or professional in the case of many – we can become proficient in predicting events based upon the decisions we see being made. We will become more adept at forecasting results not because we are soothsayers or proprietors of our own 1-900 psychic pal service, but because we have also studied the blueprint. We know where all roads lead.
With history as our blueprint, we will try to understand our future together so that we can make it bright once again. There is a road ahead of us. There are cracks, bumps, and dangerous hazards. But there is also a desired destination. There is a place where America and this world would like to be. It is a place where freedom is the ability to make decisions that are advantageous for both the individual and the community. It is a place where peace lives in the reflexive reactions of our leaders. And it is a place we can find with our best intentions and a healthy knowledge of our own history. The decisions are yours.