Many of us may wonder every time we walk in to our social studies classroom: “Why do we need to learn about things that is already in the past?” and question how it might relate to us. After all, this all happened hundreds of years ago and are of no relevance to us right? Not quite so. Our predecessors have more in common with us than you might think, and learning from their mistakes and successes, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble.

I recognize that without actual proof, my point would be meaningless to you all that are reading this blog, so here is one quick example. Have you ever thought that things weren’t fair and there needs to be a change? And to top it off, none of the authorities seem to approve of your plan. You’re feeling frustrated and feel that you need to do something to change their minds. Now you are wondering what you can do to grab their attention, your friends tell you that you should go smash windows and graffiti walls to grab attention, you think it might not be such a bad idea! You did what they said with a couple of your friends and bam, now you’re just a teenage punk and no one will ever listen to what you have to say ever again. Our predecessor Mahatma Gandhi lived in a period where India was still a British colony. I won’t go into the details to bore you, but to sum it up, the living conditions for the locals were pretty bad, and he felt that there needs to be change. But he didn’t go smash windows, he led a peaceful protest and eventually won India independence to be their own country. We can see from his example that the most powerful voice is one that is steadfast, unwavering, yet unprovocative or violent. Gandhi’s success is an excellent example to us and we would do well to follow in his footsteps next time you feel like your rights are being overstepped, or that you have been wronged in any way.

For those of you that are stubborn and claim that it was a mere coincidence, here’s a second example. In the year of 383 AD, in China, the kingdom of Qin, the king and general FuJian readied his grand army of 700,000 men (400,000 regular drafted troops, 270,000 elite troops, and 30,000 royal guards.) and plans to invade the Kindom of Jin. The kingdom of Jin only had a mere 80,000 troops that was able to answer the call. The troops of Qin were in high spirits and thought they were unstoppable, making their plans and manoeuvers sloppy, while the troops of Jin were calm and collected. During the battle, the commanders of Jin cleverly exploited many mistakes in the Qin army’s plan and thoroughly crushed the Qin army. The Qin army estimated over 600,000 dead over the course of the battle and ended as a grand victory by the Jin Army. This tragic event teaches us that no matter what we think, or however confident we are, we should never underestimate our opponents, be it human or objects like tests we have to prepare for. Be earnest and steadfast and you will certainly achieve success!

Author: Daniel

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