• Lauren Hanzel

Why our past is so important for our future

Lauren suggests the value of learning about overshadowed historical narratives in order to guide us towards our futures.


As someone with a minor in history, I’m an automatic proponent of being knowledgeable about the past. Although dwelling too much on the past can lead to the inability to move into the future, keeping the past in mind can give us guidance.

Learning about history gives us a way to see our world through different perspectives. Digging deeper into history, beyond the primary narratives that we are exposed to in our education, can help us reflect on ourselves as well. By diving into the past with an insatiable curiosity, we may end up feeling more understood than by those in the present.

There is the saying that history is written by the victors, but what about everyone else? What about the unheard, forgotten, little tidbits of stories throughout history that are overshadowed by other narratives? There is something amazing about learning about the world through narratives we never knew before, like the African American female mathematicians that helped America win the Space Race. We become enlightened and influenced by stories that would have never made it into our minds, yet we were searching for them. Searching for these perspectives prove that our society isn’t as black and white anymore in terms of what we know, but it becomes colored with so many different perspectives.

"What about the unheard, forgotten, little tidbits of stories throughout history that are overshadowed by other narratives?"

In our own experiences, we all have history. We all have a story to tell, even if they are not the stories that become the primary narrative of the victors. Through nuanced history, we can see our mistakes and struggles, but also our triumphs and successes. With this, we can revel in what we have made it through and learn how to move forward into our future.