Why do we learn about history?
Is it to bore students to sleep?
Is it to keep students up all night finishing primary source readings?
Is it to clutter students’ brains with “things that already happened?”
We live our lives with our eyes looking forward,
But we forget that our necks swivel.
How much does it take to put on the brakes for a second
And look back?
Or how about look down?
Down at the path our ancestors paved to guide them to prosperity.
Down at the spatters of blood spilt by those who fought for the freedoms that propel us to reach our full potentials.
Down at the dry sweat that once poured down the chins of impassioned leaders as they carried the weight of the people on their shoulders.
But when do you look up?
When you see clouds of smoke rising from a furnace.
When you hear the thunderous marching of the world’s armies.
When you smell the corpses rotting on the street.
When you taste the sour prejudice in society.
When you feel the air thickening with tensions between nations.
To see our ancestors watching our every move with the eyes of a hawk.
To know the beauty of a blue sky,
We need to feel the gloominess of a grey one.
To know the wonder of peace,
We must face the horrors of war.
To know the importance of the steps we take,
We must know the depth of the footsteps we follow.