History is like reading a really good story, except that this time the plot is true. Love, war, triumph, disaster, and most of all purpose weave together in an infinite string of action and reaction. There is not a single person who could not profit from studying the past. Regardless of how well versed we are in our historical understanding, humans share an integral desire to know how the puzzle all fits together. How exactly did we get from then to now? Although history is a guess at best, I believe that we can draw out and identify parallels from the annals of time. Of even the greatest nations, peoples, and individuals, most suffer from a mixture of admirable and distasteful qualities. We find beauty in the midst of mud, bright flames intertwined with dark shadows. Yet by judging the difference between two, isolating the characteristics of a society and behavior we wish to claim as our own, man can apply history to himself. We could do well to humble ourselves to read about those who have gone before and remember their lives.