OPINION: Learn from history to avoid pitfalls

Published 9:17 am Monday, April 19, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Last week, I was able to talk to Frank Atchison about the Bay of Pigs invasion. Atchison had contacted us because he wanted the historical events and those who were a part of them to be remembered.

Remembering the past is important for several reasons. Personal memories can be helpful in showing one how much they have grown physically, mentally and emotionally and what one has overcome to get to where they are.

Remembering historical events and what came after them is extremely important to the nation’s future.

We have all heard the phrase “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.” Knowing history and how events impacted subsequent events can give wisdom for how to handle things today.

It has always been interesting to me how the rise of colonialism set the stage for a worldwide conflict, which led to a desire for world powers to have a “meeting place” (League of Nations), but the peace terms set the stage for a second worldwide conflict in World War II.

Looking back in hindsight, it is possible to see how one thing led to another.

Studying historical events can highlight the importance for careful planning before taking on a new project, not just for the nation’s leaders, but for all of us.

The consequences of historical decisions have more notable impacts than many of the major decisions I will make in my life, but I can still learn a thing or two from history in how I approach them.

I think this is why books about great leaders in history are written, so we can gain from their wisdom, learn some of their principles and apply them to our own life.

I will readily admit I have started more books on leadership than I have finished. One of the few that I have finished was an audiobook of “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership” By Colin Powell.

One of the things that stood out to me was his admonishment to not be busy to the point that it is just creating more work for others or to the point that your job is your entire life.

In other words, do not be a workaholic, find time to enjoy things in life while still being a productive person.

Studying history and great leaders of the past can help us avoid some of the mistakes that they made and learn from what they did well.