“History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided.”-
Weighed down by the burden
Of an unimaginative, rote-based curriculum
Learning historical facts appeared to me
To be the grandest exercise in futility-
Yesterday was dead; it did not make any sense
To spend precious time on the past, in the presence
Of exciting developments taking place everywhere
My eyes were on the future, why did I have to care
About the dark middle ages steeped in ignorance
I could not imagine seeing the world with their lens..
I decided to concentrate all my efforts and energy
On preparing for the future, that seemed a clever strategy..
Thus I ignored the five thousand year old history
Of my people, I cared little for my ancestry.
As I grew up in a world with shrinking borders
Was exposed to political turmoil and disorder
I realized all manifest conflicts today
Had their genesis in the pages of yesterday
As I grew up I also realized, inevitably
That in my lifetime I had seen the creation of history
The past is inextricably intertwined
With the present, we humans are destined
To weave a new future on the tapestry
Of the past; thus the importance of history..
So I decided to get acquainted with the past
Was afraid my enthusiasm would not last-
I was so wrong; I ended up enthralled
By history of mankind, how we had evolved
The subject that has such a burden been
In school, was fascinating when with new eyes seen-
I see now how history can encourage and inspire
People to follow their ambitions and desires.
(This photograph was taken at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington DC.)