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Ismaila Whittier Discusses Why Studying History is Important: Lessons from the Past for Understanding the Present and Shaping the Future



Ismaila Whittier Discusses Why Studying History is Important Lessons from the Past for Understanding the Present and Shaping the Future

Ismaila Whittier understands history’s role in forecasting and understanding the current world. Too many people underestimate the value of history; they write it off as in the past, wrongly assuming that it doesn’t influence the present or the future.

History is essential to understanding the human condition, adding value to accomplishments, and defining how to move forward. Without knowledge of the past, how can anyone hope to dream of a brighter tomorrow?

Four Reasons To Study History

History is a broad subject with multitudes of topics and educational pathways. From the ancient world to personal history, the past influences today’s decisions. You have so many reasons to explore the subject, including wanting to avoid the same mistakes of your predecessors. To help you dive into a history book or course, consider the four primary reasons it is relevant.

1. It’s Enlightening

Exploring the past gives you insight into the motivations of the authors. For example, studying the history of a company provides knowledge of why a founder started the business in the first place. Also, exploring its operations and historical markets can help you understand why the board made the decisions it did.

2. It’s Personal

According to Ismaila Whittier, one of the primary reasons to dive into history is self-discovery. You can focus on the history of the self or explore bigger questions about family and identity. For example, ask questions about when your family arrived in the United States and why. Most American citizens are descendants of immigrants, and those stories can have a dramatic effect on the way you view not only history but yourself.

3. It Builds Empathy

History is ultimately a window into the human experience. A look back provides tons of information about various cultures, traditions, and ideas. You’ll read about people suffering discrimination and people winning against intolerance. The decades, centuries, and millennia past can teach so much about empathy and how to love and respect your fellow man.

4. It Offers Insight Into the Future

If you study history for no other reason, study it because it helps you and others avoid the same mistakes. History shines a light on patterns and problems of the past. Without prior knowledge, the patterns are all too invisible and easy to repeat. For example, the Flint water crisis shed light on the disproportionate effect of environmental pollution on poorer communities; if leaders study this issue, they are more likely to safeguard these communities in the future.

History Is Everywhere

History is everywhere if you take the time to notice it. Every day that passes is another opportunity to learn something valuable. Ismaila Whittier encourages everyone to focus on their history and world history to avoid the issues of yesterday and embrace a brighter tomorrow.

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