It doesn’t matter. Dates hardly have any significance beyond academic purposes. And yet we are fed those pointless information generation after generation.
Just by knowing when and where, who did what teachers imagine they are teaching history. Students imagine they are learning it. And probably both hate it. One gets their paycheck out of it and the other marks in the exam. We have before us all the great acts and great follies of humanity – and all we can learn from them is what we need to get some good score in the next test. Sad yet funny!
No one bothers about learning anything more out of it. Every action of ours probably has been played out in a smaller or larger scale by someone in the past. Just by reading about the past and observing the present, it is possible to deduce the future but we are all too busy in repeating the same mistakes over and over.
And history is just an example. Students memorize and quote pieces from literature but no one teaches them the basics of language. We memorize and write down long and difficult mathematical proofs and yet fail at applying simple logic to day to day situations. Most have no idea what was taught to them in civics.
And again education itself is a small example of a greater human tendency of pretension. Not sure if any other animal does that, but we are born actors. From cradle to grave, we are drenched in deception. And we very effectively lie to ourselves too.
Deliberately or not, we involve ourselves in all sorts of superficial details and happily let the real, difficult, task untouched.
A very real example is trying to put some books in symmetrical order on the book-self while dust completely hides the couch. We focus on something that is easy, doable and which takes time – and keep doing it and convince ourselves we are working towards the final goal. We keep making plans for personal projects since making plans is easy and there is no end to it.
We protest and participate in huge rallies since all that we need to do then is sit and walk and occasionally yell along with the crowd. We berate the government, we blame the management, we find flaws with people around us – without providing a single constructive solution of our own.
We willingly sink in the pit of ineffective, dull, easy labor and pat ourselves on the back since we are making progress. Circling back to my original example – we memorize dates and call it learning history. We should take the harder but much more interesting route of learning from it.
When there is fire to be put out, we should be running and throwing pails of water at it. Not stand in a corner and spit at it.