Why Study History As An Adult?
I used to have a love-hate relationship with history.
I loved it because my teacher, Mr. Brewer, was pretty cool.
He was laid back and didn’t make the subject too boring.
I hated it because I thought it was a waste of time.
Why bother learning it?
I have better things to do!
I thought going to Dr. Anson’s class and learning about psychology was more important.
Because the human mind is an important topic.
The better I understand that, the better I can influence the world.
‘What changed, Armani? Do you still have a love-hate relationship with history?’
No, I have a curious attitude regarding history.
I realized that one of the best ways to learn psychology is through history.
The better I understand the past, the better I can influence the future.
Why History Is Important
Initially, I thought:
‘What could I possibly learn from these old-school folks?’
My brain thought that these people were savages.
They didn’t think deeply.
Didn’t have advanced technology.
And were not civilized as a whole.
However, I was wrong.
There were a few history books that changed my perspective.
One of the autobiographies was by Henry Ford.
His autobiography was annoying as hell to read because it was so poorly formatted.
The words were all the way to the middle of the spine.
So, I had to literally tilt my head in an awkward fashion to finish a sentence.
‘Uh…what the hell does this have to do with history?’
Well, I eventually had a spasm on my neck.
That poorly formatted book screwed up my neck for a few days.
‘And?? I still don’t get how this relates to history!’
I kept reading the book despite how much physical pain it caused.
What Henry Ford Taught Me
Back in Henry Ford’s time, he was getting mocked by the other businessmen.
He was getting mocked because others felt he was too focused on automobiles rather than money.
The other businessmen started businesses to mainly make money.
While Henry Ford thought:
‘Let me make the best automobiles possible and the money will be a byproduct.’
I thought, wow!
What a great and simple way to think.
Nowadays, I see something similar happening.
I see people chasing the end result but neglecting the product.
They want the orange juice but fail to pick quality oranges.
‘Let me get my views, retweets, and likes.’
However, their content lacks substance.
Little intellect, little knowledge, and little wisdom.
‘How can I make the same viral tik-toks as the 300 other dudes and finally get famous?’
I noticed that an insight that Henry drew back in his days can be beautifully cross-applied to today’s generation.
And this has dramatically influenced my perception of history.
What History Can Teach You
Some say, history repeats itself.
Others say, history rhymes.
I think those are great sayings.
However, I like thinking:
‘History allows you to realize that you are not alone.’
Although Henry and I did not reach the same exact insight…
Nor were we involved in the same experience.
We both reached a similar conclusion in different contexts.
When you are capable of doing that, it allows you to see that there is a rhythm to history.
It is not completely sporadic.
After spotting insights from the past that can be practically applied today, you build more courage to tackle conflicts in the present.
Plus, it allows you to respect old-school minds.
They were not as dumb as the brain initially thought.
In many ways, they were more well equipped to learn human nature without the distractions.
How To Learn About History
One of the simplest ways to learn about history is to follow your curiosity.
Or better yet, follow your baseless claims.
‘Follow my baseless claims? What the hell is that supposed to mean?!’
How many people do you know who say:
Abraham Lincoln was my favorite president.
‘I know plenty of people like that.’
And how many of them do you REALLY think know about Abraham Lincoln?
Most of them have no clue about Abraham Lincoln.
They just heard others saying Lincoln was their favorite president.
So, they stole other people’s answers and began parroting them away.
Some do know a little about Abraham Lincoln.
But not enough to make the tall claim that Lincoln is their favorite president.
We all have certain claims that are baseless when we get to the core of it.
No shame in that.
Can’t know everything at once.
However, this would be a good time to learn about Abraham Lincoln.
Who was this dude?
Why do others respect him so much?
Why is he seen as one of the greatest politicians of all time?
You will get your foot in the door of history.
That’s when you will learn about the life of Lincoln.
Hopefully, one of his insights will influence your present day.
Build Perspective and Change Behavior
I heard this unique quote once.
It went like this:
“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
By knowing history, you have more judgment.
By applying lessons of the past to the moments of the present, you begin to appreciate the subject of history much more.
That’s when you see that history is a better teacher of psychology than psychology is a teacher of psychology.
Read that sentence again.
History is a powerful topic.
I believe a lot of the subjects talked about in school didn’t make much sense because we lacked life experience.
But the more life experience we accumulate, the more the subjects from school start to come to life.
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