I believe that the only way to be able to move forward is to look back at past experiences and analyze them and see what mistakes we have made. I really enjoyed reading “why history matters” by Corfield where he mentions that history is not only useful for us but rather essential and needs to be taught and remembered. This importance comes from the fact that every human being on earth has their present knowledge linked to past experiences.
I always thought that present knowledge is wholly dependent on people’s history and I was amazed to see that Corfield has mentioned this claim and backed it up with scientific evidence such as genetics. Learning and understanding how history is so vital in shaping individual lives from an expert’s perspective were interesting as his arguments were really engaging. It allows every person to sit down and look back to reflect on past experiences and understand how they can shape their present knowledge, morals, values, and beliefs. Such an act as Corfield explained is essential because being rootless causes harm not only to oneself but also to people around in society. Therefore, rather than following the steps of people in power who always tend to write and change history the way they want and the way they benefit from it, learning about one’s past allows people to weigh what they think is right or wrong and derive into their own personal conclusions. Personally, I think this is the best way to change the present and be able to move ahead as I mentioned earlier because this task helps individuals develop their critical thinking and gain more information from several resources that are not biased.
In addition to that, I liked how Cortfield presented a counterpoint to his argument by Henry Ford who tried to prove that history is “bunk”. He weighed his arguments precisely and refuted Ford’s point with evidence, and finally came to the conclusion that history is with no doubt important even if studying the subject does not directly affect one’s life. I agree that every chance to gain education about the past is not useless. For humans to be able to further evolve we have to look back and dig deep into our ancestor’s history and understand it. This opportunity allows a person to learn how to be a leader. Therefore, the subjects of history and leadership complete and even rely on one another; when we realize our past mistakes we grow and become better leaders.