What History Has Taught Me #1

What is “ought to” now does not have to stay “ought to” forever

I feel like people tend to quickly become accustomed to the environment in which they live, that some people don’t recognize underlying issues in our society. Even being aware of some issues, people are likely to forget them in everyday life… unless these issues deeply concern them.

It is necessary for people to adapt to a new environment and it is natural to regard their environment as “normal”. However, this tendency of human beings leads us to settle in the way it is now, and makes us feel like history is something inevitable and something out of our control.

My mentor is history
“My mentor is history” Paris, France 2015

What history has taught me is that history is not, in fact, inevitable. It is an unfinished piece of work, we can write whatever we want. At the same time, it is our responsibility to choose what to write in a given chapter, so that the future generations don’t have to bear with an aftermath.

Take famous event – French Revolution in 1789 – for example. It completely destroyed the regime that constructed the entire society. Can you imagine bringing down your current government, smashing social orders and abandoning everything you are used to?

“The way things are does not determine the way they ought to be”              (Michael J. Sandel in his book Justice)

You may be accustomed to your surrounding and you are content with it, but it does not mean there is nothing to be improved. Just because things work in a certain way, it does necessarily make them neither right nor just.

Always doubt what you do, where you are, and how things work. Have a critical mindset in order to continue ameliorating.

It’s our turn to write a chapter in a book called history. Isn’t it more exciting to write a good one that we can be proud of?


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