The Value of Personal History

– By J Michael

When we think of personal history we may tend to focus mainly on the historical aspects rather than the ontological and anthropological. History may be conceptualized as the temporal sequence of events as well as the analysis of events as causal factors on this temporal sequence. Events are agents of change. During any period of time one may start with an initial plan or expectation for what is to transpire. However, an event may occur that will alter that plan. Events, and therefore history, may be considered external to both ontological and anthropological perspectives, although events that occur and your reaction to those events is clearly driven or influenced by both. Personal history might be described as an interpretation of the life of a single individual. There are events, cultural influences, and other factors that have a direct impact to varying degrees on one’s life and how that life unfolds.
What is the value of a single personal history? Like the small contributions of scientists to the greater body of scientific knowledge, each personal history is a contribution to human progress and toward the betterment of mankind. It is never known in advance what profound effect some fact, recollection, or other contribution might have far into the future. Knowing this, how can one not preserve one’s own personal history?

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