History is the study of things that have already happened. It’s basically like reminiscing, except it’s reminiscing about events that you had nothing to do with.
This is apparently important to people.
Important enough so that we are all forced to study it in school and remember people such as King Henry VIII. Keep in mind that this is a man who is most known for marrying a lot of women and creating his own branch of the Church just to marry more women.
Really critical to understanding how we got to where we are today.
Humanity has been interested in looking backwards since the beginning. Ancient People wanted to understand where they came from, but because it was so early in time, History hadn’t been created yet.
So they made it up.
These made up stories, which were passed down for generations by word of mouth (because people hadn’t invented writing yet) are called Myths. They used to be treated as truth, but that was lost over time.
Interestingly enough, Myths are no longer viewed as History, yet still have to be studied. Which means that schools not only make students study what actually happened, but also study stories about gods who spent all of their time either sleeping with or fighting with everything around them. Every single story was about someone screwing up. There was literally never a happy Myth.
The creation of Myths to explain things has led to a favorite pastime of humanity: arguing about stuff. There are a group of people called Historians, who spend all of their time studying and debating about History. That makes sense, because if History really is the study of how we got to where we are now, we should figure out how much of it was important.
What is interesting is that they don’t just argue about this, though. They actually argue about what things actually ever happened.
Historians decided that because these things happened long ago, there’s no telling which events were exaggerated or even fake. Because, surely, Ancient People wrote down the events of their time to remember them, and then blew them all out of proportion just to mess with us.
The farther we get from an event, the more we doubt it ever happened. Let’s see basically how this works:
First Ancient Dude: “Guys, we were totally put here by a deity.”
Second Ancient Dude: “Yeah okay, sounds good, bro.”
Ancient Dude Who Looks Like A Lady: “This is definitely the way people are going to view things for the rest of time.”
Georges Lemaitre: “Guys, I really doubt it was a deity. Must have been an explosion.”
People: “This is definitely the way we are going to view things for the rest of time.”
Now think about this fact: in several years, people will actually be debating about stuff that is happening to us right now. On March 2, 1962, NBA Player Wilt Chamberlain famously scored 100 points in a single game. Now, nearly 50 years later, Basketball Historians (they totally exist) argue whether this is really a big deal at all.
50 years from now, we’ll probably be wondering if Wilt Chamberlain was a real person or not.
History, though it already happened, is always being revised. It’s a constant cycle of making stuff up, then debating about it 100 years later. It begs the question: if even the past is up for debate, should we only focus on the future? Of course not! We probably shouldn’t think at all.
If there’s one thing History has taught us, it’s that we really haven’t made it very far.
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