I Am History

Feb 26, 2012


Joshua Cleaver - Southeast High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

I believe in History. Not the kind you read about in books, or learn in class, but pure History, no interpretations, just facts. You see, I am History; we are all History.  Each of us has a story to tell and the past is the key to the future.

My obsession with History began in the second grade when I would glance through encyclopedias during the ‘free reading time’. Yes, that is correct; I looked at encyclopedias while the others read Captain Underpants. I was just simply fascinated with all of the events that transpired throughout time, from the rise of the Roman Empire to the atrocities of the Second World War. However, at the time I really didn’t see any significance of these events, I just thought they were all stories. I wasn’t until I progressed through my years of education when I finally realized the purpose of History.

Each of us has a story to tell and the past is the key to the future.

Although my fascination with History helped me succeed in school, it wasn’t until my eighth grade year when I began to analyze the events that shaped my life and others. Through this I started thinking of outcomes that could or could not have happened. What if America was a monarchy? What if Germany had prevailed in the First World War? What if John F. Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated?  It’s from these ‘what if’s…’ that I realized that people are responsible for their actions, one decision can change everything. All the events in History have a cause and effect, and almost all are related.

By the time I arrived in high school, I became even more interested in History. With help from great social science teachers, I started to see the world from a different viewpoint. In classes such as Human Geography and Sociology, I began to connect past events to modern conflicts that plague our society.

My interest in History now has me aspiring to be a History teacher. However, it isn’t just the interest in the subject that is leading me down that path; it is the importance of it. After realizing the importance of History, I now see many reasons as to why it should be taught; I believe that History is the key to the future. And by looking back at the past, one can analyze the mistakes and try to prevent them from happening again. Imagine if the Holocaust weren’t taught in classes, would people forget and would it happen again? I also believe that we need to be reminded of past events. Simply denying or forgetting them would only lead them to happening again.

Ever since humans were created we have lived, fought, and conquered. Our decisions have impacted the world, and that impact is all around us. Even though not all of us will grow to become leaders and change the world, we each will make an impact. By learning from our mistakes, we can make the right decisions and truly make an impact. That is why I believe in History.