Myself and Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch employees and long time friends love to get locked into a debate over a beer or two after work. Normally our debates consist of finance, Miami Dolphins ( both huge fans ) and our kids. Something which we have been discussing at length recently is US history in education and whether or not it is still relevant. There are many areas of education which I’d like to change here in Miami, in order to give our students the best education possible, but US history is not one of them. If you don’t believe that this is important for our young men and women to study, here is why I think that you may be wrong.
We must preserve the stories of the past and ensure that they are not forgotten, or that they are only remembered by historical societies which have been set up. This is not to say that every detail must be remembered of course, but there are people who should always be remembered and there are events which must never be forgotten.
To those who say that history doesn’t help us in the present, it is important that we understand inspiration and how we can use these historical events as motivators and inspirers, to help us all in the current day. Throughout history there are acts of outstanding bravery, people who overcame the odds, people who refused to lay down their honor and be oppressed and people who stood up for what they believed in. These are amazing lessons which history can teach and through this inspiration we can then move forward and live our lives based on how they lived theirs.
It is vital in this day and age that we understand who we are and where we came from. The USA is made up of millions of people from different backgrounds, different cultures and different races and through studying history we can understand how we got here, who we really are and this can lead to greater acceptance and tolerance. We are living in an age where there is so much hate and ignorance and through understanding our history, we can begin to make more sense of both our present and our future. This land is such a rich tapestry of styles, cultures and histories, that we simply have to spend more time in understanding how we came to this point, and how we can all live better together.
Leading on from our identities it is also important that we understand how society came to be and what were the events and people who shaped our present-day society. In doing this we can gain greater understanding of our society, our role within it, and how we can use lessons of the past to improve our future.
This for me is a vital subject which all students should be studying.