7/100: Why I Have Signed Up to Study History
One would wonder why we think this way - it is obviously silly to think that we have conjured up the modern world from thin air - but this is consistent with our current narrative of innovation and creation. We believe in making things from thin air, something out of nothing! That, as in the art of making money, is our conception of the modern Hero, unleashed from the past, baggageless. This is not just rhetoric, though our love of show and rhetoric makes such a fantasy believable: This is what the modern faith is all about.
However, this poses a great danger for our ability to create a future for those who will come after us - our grandchildren and beyond! It seems that we are not just condemned to repeat History as we do not study it, our forgetfulness of history makes us impotent to create it too. The freedoms that we enjoy, that many preceding generations had to struggle for, we take for granted: We endanger them by assuming that they, our rights to vote, our right not to be discriminated, our right to worship any god we may choose, our right to speak, were always there - and we forget to worry about them, work for them, guard them from encroachment! We build capitalist Disneylands like Dubai or Singapore, and forget that true sustainable futures are not built with tall buildings and modified nature, but with an ability of the common person to hold the powerful to account. We build nifty technologies and call it progress, but forget to change our frames of mind to set our technological priorities to improve conditions of human beings, alleviate water shortages, or educate greater numbers. All of this, I shall claim, has something to do with our self-imposed innocence about how we got here.
So, that, in short, motivates me to study history, respectfully, professionally, whole-heartedly. I shall continue to work in Education, that choice has already been made, but I believe this effort will improve my writing and allow me, finally, to find a discipline.