History matters in shaping the future of a country because it allows counties to understand changes and developments that had taken place to create the present society. In this highly globalized world we live in today, there is a need for developed countries to maintain the fast pace lifestyle while developing counties play catch up. Every country can be said to be struggling to progress and develop in one way or another. One way that countries often develop and better themselves is by learning more about their history and the successes and failures, even the ones other countries experience, that have served them. Lessons from the past can serve as a useful reminder of what not to do in the present, assuming that the contexts are similar for the lessons to be applicable. For instance, in the past, Myanmar was the biggest rice exporter and earns astronomical amounts of revenue from trade. Unfortunately, today it has become one of the poorest countries in SEA. After witnessing how her neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia grew from third-world to first-world countries, Myanmar has now decided to open up politically and economically after realizing how far behind they have sunk in under traditional military rule. Therefore, history plays an important part in shaping the future of a country as it acts as a platform for comparison, learning and understanding between countries and differing economies, highlighting areas of improvements.

History matters in shaping the future of a country as it provides the advantage of learning from other people’s experiences and stories without having to go through the experiences personally. We can learn from and about the great men and women of history and how they emerged successful despite moral dilemmas and how these people displayed courage, diligence, determination and perseverance. History lessons are invaluable because they are a way for people to share what they have gained and learned of life and the many social rules and regulations and how these have affected people. These historical narratives serve as inspiration for countries and learn to look to the future and motivate people to make sure that their dreams become a reality. For example, one iconic historical figure that many countries learn from is Mahatma Gandhi from whom they have learnt that it is possible to eradicate injustices in the world through non-violent means. Countries learnt from Gandhi that justice can be sought by not simply sitting idle and accepting injustices but by exposing and making known to others of the problems that are happening so that action can be taken. History, hence, provides us the opportunities to learn from mistakes whenever a past event is revisited.

National identity is unavoidably linked to history because it provides the social narrative- a story reflecting how a country has grown into what it is today- for citizens to relate to. We live in a global community where there is a diversity of cultures and unique identities coming from all over the world. It is important for countries to preserve and glorify their distinctiveness because in this highly globalized and interconnected world that is bombarded with so much influence, the different historical narratives help people to stay rooted and united as a nation. Singapore is a very good example because this country’s porous borders

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