Does History Repeat Itself?

In the fall of 1995, I started high school at Brgy. Hilaitan National High School, Guihulngan Negros Oriental, Philippines. Even though that was many years ago, I still recall my first day at Hilaitan and attending my first class, which happened to be History. My history teacher started the class by asking the question: Does history repeat itself?

As we began to discuss this question, our teacher provided us with some incredible facts that gave us much to consider in how we formed our answer. As we neared the end of the class time, he asked us to consider the following: Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946. Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The major social issue during both of their presidencies was Civil Rights. Both of the presidents were elected by less than 50% of the popular vote. Lincoln’s opponent, Douglas, was born in 1813. Kennedy’s opponent, Nixon, was born in 1913. Both of the presidents lost a child while they were living in the White House. Both of the presidents were shot in the back of the head and both died on a Friday. Both assassins are known by all three of their names: John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. Both successors to the presidency were Democratic Senators with the last name of Johnson. Andrew Johnson was born in 1808. Lynden Johnson was born in 1908.

Following this impressive list of facts concerning American history, we were thrown for a loop. We were forced to closely examine what our teacher was asking after he had presented those facts to us. Even though he had produced what seemed such compelling information, I determined that, no, history does not repeat itself, but rather man is prone to make the same mistakes repeatedly.

Through my observation of what happening in the society around the world, I’ve learned that there are three classes of people. The first learn from their own experience -these are the wisest people. The second learn from the experience of others – these are the happy ones. The third neither learn from their own experience nor from the experience of others – these are the fools!

Readers which in the three classes of people in the world are you belong? Again, I repeat history does not repeat itself, but rather man is prone to make the same mistakes repeatedly!

Wish you many blessings to come and God Bless us All!

Moises Padin Reconalla

About the Author

Moises Padin Reconalla finished his bachelor’s degree in History and Minor in Political Science at Adventist University of the Philippines. He is also License Social Study Teacher. Worked as a School Guidance Counselor, College Instructor and Working Student Supervisor at North Davao Colleges, Panabo City, Philippines.

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