George Santanya, a nineteenth-century philosopher, famously said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. History is essential to understand the world as we know it and making decisions to avoid the repetition of catastrophes. Although it's not always pleasant, history can teach us the wrongs of humanity and show us how to prevent these disastrous things from happening again. So always respect your elders and learn from them, even if they were born over one hundred years ago. 

But isn't history in the past? Why worry about what has already happened? That’s definitely not true! In the great words of ABBA, ‘the history book on the shelf, is always repeating itself.’ When we look at the past, we can further understand what has happened and what we need to do from there. 

History is a challenging A level, only 27% (approx.) of students receiving an A* at A-level, as it develops critical-thinking and curiosity. ‘History degrees aim to widen the student’s experience and develop qualities of perception and judgement, while fostering intellectual independence, sharpness and maturity,’ from the History Benchmarking Draft Report 1999. History is invaluable beyond school life, which cannot be said of all subjects, and teaches us to look beyond the obvious and think outside the box. 

In essence, by studying the past, we can prepare for the future and prevent calamities and mistakes with experience gained by our elders. Newton said, ‘If I have seen the future, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,’ the past can aid you into the future. 

When you learn about the tragedy of the holocaust, you learn about how powerful oratory and indoctrination can be. Furthermore, we can see how desperation fuels hatred and successes of propaganda. More importantly, we can learn how to spot the rising of tyrannical governments and to prevent these events from repeating. 

Every singular corporation, country and community has its history, and whether your patriotic or not, your history is where you came from and that is always important. Studying history can broaden your mind and teaches you to look at everything from a different angle. Then again you don’t have to study it, reading articles, like this one, and reading non-fiction also.  History made us what we are now, and what we will be. It shaped the world, and the future. Our history brought us here today, and that is why we should know where we came from.