History and the human experience

“A single thread in a tapestry
though its color brightly shines
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design”
~Through Heaven’s Eyes, The Prince of Egypt

Even those historians who promote a sweeping narrative generally do so for a small region or group of peoples. At a certain level it is impossible for there to be an all inclusive history text and invariably those texts that cross cultures are either segmented by culture or have chosen certain facets with which to restrict their inquiry, or both.

One of the tasks of historians is to investigate how the cultures and events throughout history play into the growth and development of humanity as a whole. Of course the study of each culture as an individual and its place within the grand tapestry is as important as those points where they intersect with others; without the whole portion, the specific part that intersects would mean far less. Thus the study is both that of individual pieces in isolation and filling out the richness of the human story.

It is the discussion that takes place among people who have read history, who like history and who want to understand history that bring these isolated and esoteric factoids and stories together into this tapestry. No matter how much one person studies history there is simply too much for one person to know it all. Each person will take away a different nuanced message from readings, notice a different section, interpret it differently. This richness makes history among the most frustrating to study, but also makes it among the most rewarding.

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