Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

The true importance of history

February 12th, 2022 | Tags: Dickson C. Igwe history BVI Virgin Islands society
Dickson C. Igwe. Photo: Provided
Dickson C. Igwe

Learn and teach history for the right context: not emotion. History should teach fact: not act as a crutch for patriotism and nationalism

Now, in this old boy’s opinion, history is as important to learning as any other "coveted subject" in the education curricula and culture. In fact, all knowledge- social and scientific- is history.

And from the earliest days of our learning, until the day we inevitably vacate this planet, we are all players in the great game termed history.

We learn history throughout our lives as human beings existing within time and space. Life as we live it is a process whereby we acquire experiences from moment to moment. That acquisition of experience is part of the process of history.

All over the world, in lands that hope to churn out adults from the education system with real-world perspective, and true understanding of how the world has evolved, and works, understanding history that is accurate and simply narrated, is the best tool for that purpose.

Enlightened societies are places where people have an understanding of the past, and how that past impacts the present and paves a route to the future.

Ignorance is not a virtue. And one of the drivers of national hatred of outsiders, or of minorities, intolerance leading to violence, and even civil and international war, is the inability by a country’s peoples to recognize from the past, tragic markers in the present, and when the Rubicon has been crossed, from what is civil and acceptable, to what is unacceptable, dangerous, and even genocidal: Germany 1939-45.

Today’s USA appears to have failed to have learned from the Second World War, and the dangers of Populist Strong Men playing on the worst instincts and emotions of people.

Millions of Americans died in the second world war to stop a Nazi Mad Man.

Today, that history has been forgotten by a new generation who never understood the horror of the Holocaust, or the bloody massacres of Stalingrad, or the eternal grief of hundreds of thousands of moms and dads who lost their sons on the fields of war in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

A number of thinkers and intellectuals expect a return to the populism of the Donald Trump days in 2025 and even colossal street violence.

It is important for a country to understand and appreciate its national history. But not because of national pride. It is important because of context.

History teaches how a country has evolved and survived in a world plagued by crisis, suffering, and war. And that is why any national history without a fitting of that history into world history is essentially useless: it is history without any context.

Virgin Islands history for example makes more sense with an understanding of the migration to North America of Europeans from Europe from the late 1300s, The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the establishment of the Spanish Empire of South America, The American Revolution, The American Civil War, British Colonial History, and the Post Slavery Period, with the rise of nationalism, and the journey to Independence by territories of European Powers.

Culture and heritage derive from history and both culture and history derive from context. Context is the geography and movement of whole societies over the ages from continent to continent, to where the world is present. 

In countries where history has been ignored in the learning, a culture of the philistine is adopted. The ignorance of the past filters into every facet of life leading to a lack of any understanding as to how the society, economy, and institutions evolved.

The younger generations have no clue of the past trials faced by the country and its leaders, in decades gone by, that led to where the country is today. The significance of past men and women in the evolution of the country, and how the country may have avoided war and tragedy in years gone by is forgotten.

Some sage stated once that when history is forgotten past mistakes are repeated. On the other hand, countries that remember their history, and that act swiftly to prevent tragedy when the tragic markers appear, save themselves a huge amount of trouble, and even tragedy.

Connect with Dickson Igwe on Facebook and Twitter

7 Responses to “The true importance of history”

  • Historian (12/02/2022, 10:55) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Spot on as always, Mr Igwe. Those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it. Ignore the historical truth at your peril, even if it is often painful.
  • My girl (12/02/2022, 11:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    We must learn from history
  • World view (12/02/2022, 19:23) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is crucial that our education system imparts to our youth a capsule of the history of civilization. They should know of the civilizations that existed before Greece and Rome. They should have an insight into Kemetic culture and and other African civilizations. They should understand the significance of the invasion and destruction of these civilizations. Our youth also need to be taught the truth about early European civilization and the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. This is necessary for a true understanding of Christopher Columbus, The Slave Trade and Slavery. The lack of this knowledge produces individuals who are disadvantaged when it comes to knowledge of self and are unable to function as enlightened human beings who are fit for purpose. An education system that produces fools and slaves must no longer be allowed to function in this day and age. If we are to take our place among the nations of the world we must be up to di time with clear vision and focus.
  • Smh (13/02/2022, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    History is repeating itself in the BVI where BVislanders are becoming the minority because of migration.
  • Smh (13/02/2022, 08:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bvisanders are already the minority in the BVI.
  • @ TRUTH (13/02/2022, 13:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    • @@Truth (13/02/2022, 14:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      When your own lice bite you it bite the hardest. If our ancestors were alive they will tell you how they felt when their own African captured them and sold them into slavery. Just like our own black brothers and sisters doing now, settling for anything. Oh well I guess when a person is desperate is everyman for himself.

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.