Yes, for me at least
As a student, I used to read history only for getting marks. Each time I do so, my reluctance to history would grow more and more. The middle kingdom of India, the order in which they ruled different parts and the wars and their dates never inspired me to read history with more attention and enthusiasm. Particularly I never understood the need for remembering all those dates.
Whom to blame
But then, is history so boring? In my opinion, Its the teachings and text books that are boring, but not the history itself. One question many people ask is, is it necessary to study history?
If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything
As a famous author and movie director Michael Crichton puts it: “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
The way we live, the way we speak, our culture, traditions and every thing we see around us. has a cause that lies in the past.
History is about learning from past, about knowing that exciting journey of civilization, about being inspired by those great characters, about knowing the life of our ancestors and how they laid the foundation for our present.
But the current history text books fail to inspire students to read and understand that cause in the past. They fail to show those great people in history whose life style and values have a lot to teach to the current generation.
We can’t really make a claim that reading ‘history will shape your character’.
Epics to fill the gap
Fortunately in India, the great epics take that responsibility. They have all the excitements of a great story. Have potential to take the reader to an imaginary world. But unlike the new age books, mere excitement is not their aim. The real aim is to teach them the way of life, the dharma and consequences of violating it. Aim is to inject harmony and peace in the society and the value system that every one should follow for greater benefit of every group of the society.
We can learn these from the history also. History teaches us why one has to respect ones parents, teachers and other relations, the dangers of greed, lust, anger, ego and the purpose of ones life and destiny. But as these elements are hidden and never exposed to the students, I prefer latching on epics than history books for this purpose.