Memory, history, school
Let’s take a long journey to talk about the advantages of history, its use and its importance.
We have a house like many houses in North America, made of wood. We changed its “walls” completely. Could we say that it is still the same house? Of course not, its location and address will be the same, but the house, ultimately, no. We are exactly like that house.
We are exactly like that house. Our components have been changed over the years and we are no longer the same (which is why we are taller than when we were children). The “walls” are our cells, they have all changed. I repeat: we are no longer the same.
What makes us what we are? That child we were today is the adult we are, but how is this possible if we have said that all the microcomponents of our body have changed? We are the same thanks to memory. That is exactly what leads us to continue to be what we were.
Now let’s say that we lose our memory for good. Could we continue to say that we are the Juanito of our childhood? No, we are not. The loss of memory is the loss of who we are and who we were.
On the other hand, the society that we are has its own memory: History. Obviously the confirmation of this attribute is no longer organic memory. Now the written has a prominent importance in this new way of enduring what we have been.
The memory-history is no longer transmitted as the memory-brain of each individual. Now there must be a social will that seeks the transmission of this collective memory.
Here we highlight the importance of the school as a formal and intentional means towards the end of the perpetuation of memory, of history. As we have been talking about our individual memory, now the school has the purpose of preventing us from forgetting what we lived as a human group.
This is well known by some institutions that use history either to exalt non-existent or irrelevant events, or to make us forget them.
Manipulation by propaganda, manipulation by forgetting. The former appeals to patriotic sentiments, while the latter takes advantage of the fact that we are nobody without this memory to dictate our thinking and our actions in all areas.
And here lies the importance of the neutral historian who records and analyzes historical events without utilitarian or political purposes. And who is separate from those who try to make us forget.
Importance also of the popularizer and the teacher who pull back the curtains to make us see, not infrequently, more everyday or scandalous stories that should bring down the intentions of those of whom we were speaking.