In the Past is Our Future

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.
~John F. Kennedy~

I have always had a great fascination with ancient history and mythology from all over the world.  Figures like Cleopatra VII, Alexander the Great, King Arthur, King Tutankhamen, and more are fascinating to me not just because of their accomplishments and marks on history but as actual people.  Norse, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Gaelic, Egyptian…I wish I could just sit down and learn about all of their histories, cultures, and mythologies.

I’ve found that learning about early people and histories and beliefs opens up pathways to a wealth of other areas of knowledge that I would probably not have given a second thought to otherwise.  It has made me more receptive to subjects like philosophy, literature, the science of politics, global concerns and issues…the list goes on.  This fascination is the foundation for my desire to go into Global Politics.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou~

History should not be seen as just a record of things that happened in the past, to be looked at as irrelevant to our lives unless we’re historians.  History is a model, a guide, for us today.  It is a way for us to look back at what was and use that knowledge to shape what will be.  History helps us take the next step, but it also helps us (if we’re open to it) to learn from mistakes that were made in the past.

I believe in mythology. I guess I share Joseph Campbell’s notion that a culture or society without mythology would die, and we’re close to that.
~Robert Redford~

I believe in the value of mythology and folklore as well.  While mythology is seen today as an ancient brand of fiction, it is important to remember that mythology was an integral part of ancient cultures and religions.  These “stories” were the foundation for some of their most fundamental beliefs and dictated how they lived their lives.  Myths and folklore didn’t just produce things like superstition or “barbaric” rituals; they were catalysts for virtuous living and honor and respect in ancient societies.  These stories give culture flavor and life, complementing the information that our study of history gathers.

Fact or fiction, evidence or conjecture.  It doesn’t matter to me because I appreciate both views of our past.  I believe that history is ever relevant, and mythology is the cultural jewel of the past.  These treasures are out there for us to explore and take in.  All we have to do is read a little.

For Mythology is the handmaid of literature; and literature is one of the best allies of virtue and promoters of happiness.

~Thomas Bulfinch~

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