Opinion / From the Press

History be viewed correctly

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-17 07:56

History is a mirror that can enlighten later generations.

However, there are some who choose to turn a blind eye to what they see reflected there. In their eyes, history is a vivid picture of a few people scrambling for wealth and power, and thus personal interests are the only standard that should be used to interpret history and evaluate historical figures.

It is true that there is no need for us to view history as a "history of heroes", but we do need to use a fixed coordinate to steer, and if necessary, adjust the course of our social values. All those who view the sacrifices made by historical figures for the nation as "the pursuit of a brighter personal political future" or view heroes as "fools" base these perceptions on their belief that all historical figures are dominated by a narrow-sighted and selfish perspective, the same as they are. Such a biased perception leads to modern and contemporary Chinese history being interpreted as simply a power struggle.

Undoubtedly, a power struggle usually constitutes an important part of any historical era and it frequently serves as a force driving social development. However, to see the unfolding of historical events as a sequence of individuals attempting to snatch power and wealth means one is looking at history with tinted spectacles. With a perception formed by bias, such viewers of history do not realize that national and human interests always rise above personal interests.

History is a good textbook from which we can learn if we read it correctly. And only with a correct historical perspective, can we really discover its spiritual treasures.

The above is an abridgement of a People's Daily article published on Wednesday.

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