People hear that I am a History Major and automatically assume that I must know everything about our country’s history.
I know the basics – what year the War of 1812 was in, for example – but that’s about it. I have studied it, yes, but I do not enjoy it. As a result, I would say that my American historical knowledge is slightly above that of an average person.
“But, you are an American!”, you say. “You have to care about our history!”, you cry. Well, that is where you are wrong, my friend. I do not have to do anything.
If I want to view my US history classes through the haze of my red-hot hatred, I can. In fact, that is exactly what I do. I go to those classes and, as great as my professors are, I end up bored out of my mind. The majority of the history of the United States just does not interest me. Native Americans and Nicolas Cage’s movie, National Treasure, are just about the only things that get me excited.
When I learn about history I want to learn about things that I am unfamiliar with, things I have never heard of, and things that are so amazingly different from the way it is today.
US history cannot provide that for me. When I think about our past, as short as it is compared to the rest of the world, all I think about is war – internal and external. We were either fighting with others or fighting with ourselves and most of this fighting was born from greed—not the need for survival.
That is why I love ancient history so much. There is so much mystery involved—so much to learn.
You could spend decades reading about ancient Egypt and you could still learn something new. You could dedicate your life to studying the downfall of Easter Island and the strange presence of the Moai. You will possibly never figure out how they moved or what they are for.
That is the kind of history I live for, not the brief speck in time that is the history of the United States of America.
I need more information. I crave more substance. I want our history to have more history.
Maybe if I were born 1,000 years in the future – if the human race even makes it that far –maybe if I were born in another country—maybe if I were more patriotic I would be more interested.
For now, though, that is not the case. I will have to be content with my dislike for my history and I have got to be honest, it will not be that hard.