At a certain age there comes that point in education when we are expected to choose the specialization. We must decide to ourselves, with the help of parents or without, the academic talents that we consider suitable to nurture at the expense of others.
Hindsight, I must say, is a truly wonderful thing. Kierkegaard once wrote that while “life must be lived forwards, it can only be understood backwards”. In my education and in the years that followed high school, I came to see that experience is the sum of our mistakes made throughout our lives. After much frustration, trial and errors I came to see the patterns that existed in my folly.
History is the subject that I wish I had taken in High School more than any other had been the one that I had learned. How could anyone know the way to the target without learning where they’d been? Countless lives lived, victories won and mistakes made; a world full of wrong answers that could have been avoided if only I had been willing to listen to the past. I quote William Blake: “and the fool who would persist in his folly would become wise,” but what use in the wisdom that we wasted out lives to find? What is the price of the knowledge that we could have gained for free?
So when one day I will come older and perhaps have children of my own, a certain doubt will nag me still: Will I be able to catch their ear? To save them the pain that I have endured? Or will they too be doomed to make the same mistakes of those that went before? In the future’s grasp of history will no doubt lie the answer.