Preservation of the Past
“Illuminating the past guides the future.” - Anonymous
“Knowing from whence you've come, paves the road into tomorrow.” – Anonymous
One could say that it is our history that defines us. This is by no means concrete but it has very real evidence supporting it. One large topic this brings to mind is the whole nature vs. nurture argument. There is a very large split of people debating either one side, or both sides of this argument. Nature supporters contend that people are born with an inherent set of biological tendencies that then manifest themselves in that person's personality. For example it is a common statement for those supporting the nature side of the argument that a person like Adolf Hitler was born with a set of “bad genes”. In other words, their idea is that a person like Hitler was at birth, a bad person. During his life, Hitler committed and caused countless atrocities against the human race.
The other side of the camp contains those who believe that its not our genetic make up that makes us one way or the other, its our past. For example, a person's history is a large part of what defines their personalities in the future. Children who have been brought up in a family of violence have a higher chance of being violent themselves as apposed to children raised in good homes. Children living with alcoholic parents generally tend to follow that behavior themselves. That is, of course, unless because of their parent’s actions, they realize the futility of those actions and thus decides to abstain from them. A person continually exposed to domestic violence, poverty and terrible hardships throughout life very well might have a very poor outlook on life; while a very wealthy person may see none of this. They may ride in a Maserati, an exotic sports car, on the way to preschool and entirely miss the view from the public bus that the child living in the ghetto across town is defaulted into watching.
A very large amount of evidence exists for each side of the debate, but neither side has evidence that the other side has no credence. Leaving many to believe that rather than nurture or nature, we instead have a mix. Both nurture and nature combine while creating a persons personality.
While talking about the past it is important to look at what the history offers us on a different level. While history undoubtedly alters personalities, it also alters civilizations. Whether it is the Sumerians creating writing, of which we use a variation of today; the Roman plumbing systems that we've adapted for our purposes. Albeit with less lead poisonings! Its important to realize that taking an invention another civilization has created and implementing it in a way that best suits that civilization is something that is central to everyday life. Those before us have touched everything around us in some way. As humans we continually implement these inventions into other aspects of our lives to further our personal comfort and productivity. Like evolution, we mimic others and adapt them to increase our survival. While only positive implementations of past ideas have been mentioned thus far, its important to realize that things like the bow and arrow was further expanded upon to create the crossbow. Following that, larger arrows, now called missiles were created. All stemming from the original bow and arrow, which was an improvement upon hand thrown rocks.
This brings us to the real reason that preservation of the past is necessary. Imagine if writing and speech had never been developed. The world we know it would not be here. In fact, we would be decidedly worse off. The car would have never been invented. We would not of had the wheel from the Sumerians. Nothing that we take as modern conveniences would be what we have today. It is in the preservation of the past that we can learn from others mistakes and grow and advance as humans and societies. Learning from history is arguably one of the most important things we can do to further our future by preserving the past.