History is the Best Teacher

Two statues are erected outside the entrance to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Though completely different, each one conveys wisdom about building a better future.

The first statue is titled “Past.” It’s a sculpture of an old man staring back through time. He’s holding a closed book, representing history. The past is over. It’s unchangeable. But carved into the statue’s base is a paraphrase from Confucius that reads, “Study the past.” That is, remember the past and learn from it.

The second sculpture is titled, “Future.” It depicts a young woman looking ahead, contemplating what could be. She’s also holding a book, but hers is open, representing all that’s still to come. The engraving beneath her is a line from Shakespeare that reads, “What is Past is Prologue.” Everything that happens today influences everything that will happen tomorrow.

We’re wise to study the past, to understand it, and to learn from our mistakes. The better tomorrow we hope to create begins by living as we should today. As we do, our vision for how things ought to be will grow more clear, as will the character we need to achieve it.

History is always the best teacher. Whether we’re talking about the future of our nation or the future of your household, the way forward always begins with the past.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top