Why do we read history?That’s the best answer

2022-05-11 0 By

To read history is not to understand the future, but to understand the present, to retain imagination for the future.The importance of cultivating a sense of history is to help us better understand reality.We feel that history is orderly and that the causes behind the rise and fall of troubled times can be summed up to guide our actions.Why else did Sima Guang name the book “The Mirror of Wisdom”?Of course, this made sense in the past, because ancient societies changed slowly and the experiences of one generation could certainly be shared with the next.However, if viewed from a larger scale, the so-called “learning for application” is not quite right.Current historical research, for example, links the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the climate-changing Little Ice Age, as well as the deflation caused by the depletion of silver mines in South America.You see, this kind of strong influence on history is not seen in The Historical Mirror.History often unfolds unexpectedly.That is why Li Hongzhang said after the Opium War: “The situation has not changed in 3,000 years.”Professor Slade, a historian at Yale university, has an interesting quote.”We know the history, so we know that anything is possible, invisible darkness, unexpected light,” he said.However, knowing this will only make us better at explaining reality, not better at predicting the future.Nothing will happen in the future because we don’t know how butterflies flap their wings.Knowing history gives us an idea of what animals can do and makes us more imaginative about the future, and some people either don’t know enough about history, or they forget about it, so they lose their imagination about the future.”Therefore, reading history is not to know the future, but to understand the reality, to keep imagination for the future.Is there any practical use in reading history?As we all know, the process of modernization in the last 200 years has changed the face of human civilization too much.Take the wealth effect, where the accumulation of the past 100 years may be as great as the sum of previous millennia.In that case, what’s the point of looking at history?It is important to cultivate a sense of history.So what is a sense of history?I understand that only by going back to the situation of each person and generation at that time in history, and rediscovering the circumstances in which those people lived, struggled and died under the constraints they faced at that time, can we see the true modern civilization.The outbreak of human civilization, just like the fifth steamed bun you eat full, the first four steamed buns are not useless.It was once said particularly well: “Our heritage today is richer than ever before.It is richer than Pericles, because it contains the essence of later Greek culture;Beda and Vinci were rich because they contained other masters of the Renaissance;It is richer than Voltaire, because it contains the whole crystallization of the Enlightenment.If history advances, it is not because we are born healthier, better, or smarter than those who came.All artistic achievement has a foundation, as it rises.The so-called history refers to the creation and recording of this heritage, and the so-called progress refers to its expansion, preservation, inheritance and utilization.To extend the importance of cultivating a sense of history is to help us better understand reality.How do we understand something?Like this computer in front of me, I want to understand it.”I don’t just know.In fact, as a liberal arts student, I don’t know much about its internal components, computing mechanism, software algorithm, etc., just how to use it.And I dare say I understand what a computer is.Because I know how it relates to the world.I know it’s made by Apple, I know what files are stored in it, when I use them, where I take it, what I can do and so on.In fact, to understand that everything is like this, it’s not enough to know what it looks like, we also need to understand how it relates to the world.But it’s not enough just to focus on the real world. I also need to know how it relates to people and events at different points in time, like why I bought this Huawei phone.Because I know the history of Huawei, because I like and respect Ren Zhengfei and so on.You see, history is not about the people and facts of the past, history is part of reality, and history is deeply rooted in our understanding of reality.That’s where the sense of history comes in.