Treasuring the Past

Siddhant RajOctober 16, 2023Now and Then

They say that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Many may be stricken with the belief that the past is merely filled with the boredom of history and mythology, and that delving deeper into it is futile. According to me, all these stereotypes are incorrect, and I firmly believe that they must be broken if we yearn for a harmonious community that thrives on the very nectar known as unity, omitting the venom of stereotype from our minds. In order to achieve this, we must imbibe in ourselves a sense of open-mindedness and learn how to treasure the beauty in monotony to celebrate the richness of the past.

In my community, awareness about history and mythology is deemed of crucial importance. My family encourages me to learn about the past by narrating various stories to me, which, although many might deem them “obsolete” or “tedious,” have kindled a sense of empathy in my heart and at the same time have sown the seeds of wisdom in me. They have truly shined a needed light for me by breathing life into the important idea of courage and self-control. In my school, my teachers transform the ennui in history and mythology by empowering me and my peers to perpetually read between the lines and see everything and everyone around us in shades of gray. In other words, being wise enough to understand that the people and objects around us hold positive as well as negative qualities.

There are many that are driven by the stereotype that the myriad lessons the past has to teach are outdated and fruitless in this modern world. In my opinion, we must take ownership and encourage the people around us to acquire a knowledge of the vast, life-changing ocean of history and mythology. Recently, I was discussing French history with my family, and that very conversation fascinated me to such an extent that I immediately went to my desk and started researching it. Learning about Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to prominence during the French Revolution simply engrossed my mind. This great French emperor's valor and aplomb inscribed a sense of confidence in me to do and be better as an individual.

In a nutshell, I feel that without learning about the past, humanity will merely be blighted by the darkness of ignorance. In order to light that ignorance, we must know our history and the multitude of life lessons it has to teach.

Siddhant Raj is an 12-year-old from a multicultural family in India. He loves to call himself a bibliophile and aspires to be a published author someday! Riverside School is the space where he gives shape to his thoughts and dreams. Writing stories and poems is Siddhant’s superpower.