History repeats itself and we are slaves to our habits so much so that even after reading and living thru events, we still fail to make the connections.
Deja vu or is it just plain stupidity. Often the most hidden is in plain sight.
George Bernard Shaw is quoted to have said” If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
Truer words have not been said on the topic.
Even religious texts seem to have a similar theme:
The Holy Quran (12:111)
“In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe. “(Translation by Pickthall)
The Holy Bible ( Romans 15:4)
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”(source)
The Holy Torah for instance doesn’t abide by history repeating itself but rather the more practical application of us as humans repeating its failures and achievements etc. (Source)
So you see, there is a trend here. My purpose is not to preach. The reason for choosing scriptures followed by more than 55% of the planets population is to show how important this thought is for such a large number of people technically believe so at least in principle.
We are humans and so far science has shows that the earliest human ancestors appeared about seven million years ago, while there is also evidence of crude stone tools about 2.5 millions years ago.
Keeping this in mind, the accounts of written history seem very miniscule in comparison to the overall time humans have been around. Even now scientists are talking about microevolutions taking place around us. Such changes like Pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, and antibiotic resistance are all examples of microevolution by natural selection.
So how silly and in fact stupid are we that we continue to litter the planet ( we littler our homes first, then our street and city and so on).
We are the same species who only a hundred years ago recommended cocaine as a soothing medicine, believed that mental illness was not an ailment but a sign of the devil and so on 🙂
Now lets get to the conclusion:
We “know”, we are smart and we have evolved quite a bit then why is it that we keep repeating mistakes ?
Well one way to look at this is cognitive science which talks about neural pathways forming in the brain when a mistake ( or any other action for that matter) happens. In a way we build habits this way.
How do you break a bad habit?
Try to improve yourself, make a conscious effort to not repeat a mistake.
Before we can do that … there is the first extremely important and mandatory step:
Accept that you made a mistake / Accept that you are wrong !
Until we do not accept what is wrong – we will not, we can not change it !
Overall, I like to suggest that we really cant change anything, but rather influence things ( actions, behavior, thoughts etc) in order to reform and recreate ourselves in a better form ( mentally, emotionally etc).
So here you go , I have said it. This applies to the professionals, students, every living soul. The fundamental truth is that we all have just this one planet and just this one life. Lets make the best of both !
Leave a healthier planet , geographically and emotionally for our next generation !