Why we need History?


Why do we study history? We began the session with this question. Kids came up with some thoughts

  • To tell others that I know
  • To visit forts and have fun
  • To read stories of kings and queen
  • To know what happened that time?

We kept on wondering ‘what do we gain when we read history’

Wikipedia says “History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”) is the study of the past, particularly how it relates to humans”

I wonder, when to we really gain by history? We visited what happened – a day before, a week before, a year ago, 10 year sago, 100 years ago and tried understanding ‘what are we gaining by going into past and knowing about it?”

We left with a thought ‘we will be history after 100 years – what will people gain by knowing about us?” We did not conclude anything about ‘why we need history’, just realize that this thought “why we need” created a lot more curiosity about history…some wanted to read about wars, about Greeks, about kings and queens and trying to wonder ‘why do I need this, how is it benefiting by this?

Well, we are heading to Mahabalipupram and Vellore next week without having a clear agenda of ‘what will we gain by this visit or why do we need to know about history’. May be we are visiting the place to explore ‘why we want to know about history and what knowing about history does to us”.