“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” – Matsuo Basho
It sometimes seems like a fine line between being doomed to repeat past mistakes and learning from history.
I am a history nut myself. I love anything to do with the past.
Except maybe just doing what was done in the past.
As I have said I am a collector of moments and I imagine this is just another facet of that warped personal characteristic. When I saw this quote I finally figured out how to explain what I saw in studying the past.
There are so many people in the business world (and government) who seem very focused on ignoring history. I believe ignorance leads to stupidity. And maybe what is worse is this is conscious choiceful ignorance. And possibly even a little lazy.
But … bottom line … it is silly stupidity because with a little curiosity you can better understand that people in the past were pretty smart. They often sought the same things we do now. And while the path they chose may not have gotten them there there is value in walking the path to see what they saw.
You do not have to do what they did … simply see what they saw.
That, in itself, is learning if you choose to see it.