Sunday, September 30, 2007
History as lighthouse for the future, and historian-- the guard...
It is very alarming that historians have become unimportant and people do not bother to learn history. They say, “We live in a new age, a completely different reality. What is the point of gazing at old parchments.” Even the intellectuals have fallen into the trap. They describe current problems as outsprings of a new world with unprecedented events… Ladies and gentlemen, from the beginning of time when humanity came to existence, events that marked history were defined and shaped by people. Insofar as the human nature in its basic ingredients never changes, history is bound to repeat itself. From time immemorial greed, treachery, conspiracy and oppression by the powerful of the weak were the forces behind the historic cataclysms building and destroying civilizations… From biblical times brother killed brother and the lamb was devoured by the wolf… And it was only people like Shakespeare, Dante and Goethe who were able to paint the timeless stage, where humans perform the same roles again and again, endlessly.
Thus, history informs our future and enlightens our present. It is history that can comfort us with hope that we can in fact learn from the past mistakes and perhaps not repeat them. It is also history that can point and alert to unseen and hidden for contemporaries landmines, that can explode unexpectedly… Yes, it is history that gets repeated with amazing regularity, deceptively cloaked with new robes. Only the ‘historian’ can see through these ‘new’ robes and warn of the danger looking outside his library of the old manuscripts. Only the ‘historian’ has access to the mysterious microscope to see the chemical molecules shifting and mutating into poisonous bacteria. Only the ‘historian’ can formulate the timely vaccine for the newly discovered diseases plaguing the humankind. Only the ‘historian’ can approach the telescope at night and direct it to the right spot detecting the speedy meteor about to strike the Earth.
‘Historian’ is not the scientist of the past, she is the Prometheus of our times, and foreteller of the future. Study, study world history and aspire to become that ‘historian’ who is the only one to prevent the destruction of our world. Dispassionately looking out the guidepost of the lighthouse into the ocean, she learns the past, contemplates the present and solves the enigma of the future.