History books are amazing. Open one up, and you'll discover why the world has become what it is. Peek inside, and you'll find stories of the glorious kings and queens of old. You can see the past, how it's influenced the present, and how it will change the future.
However, there are some problems with history books. For example, I'm studying England's break from the Church: how King Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon to marry the infamous Anne Boleyn. While doing so, I've met King Henry VIII, but only by what he's done - not by who he was. I've seen Catherine, but I can't know her favorite game, or hear her whispered secrets. I'll read history, but Henry is a king far away, and Anne Boleyn is just a woman who bewitched him - they're nothing more than characters in a mixed up fairy tale.
And maybe that's what makes us important - what we do. Because in the end, what we do, shows who we are - even if there's so much more. If we're in history books someday, maybe we'll just be remembered as someone who has to be studied to pass a test. Or maybe we'll be remembered because the artist is famous, not because it is us in the picture. Maybe that's it.
But then, dig deeper. Because maybe we'll see King Henry instead as a man who became enraptured with a woman he could not have, and Catherine of Aragon as a woman who gave away her heart to man, to have it shamelessly broken. We'll see Anne Boleyn as someone who wanted to be queen, not a mistress, because she saw how her sister was used.
History books will tell you Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine because she couldn't bear a male heir. Other books will state that Henry VIII believed that he was not rightfully married to Catherine, and that he believed his marriage invalid. But I know he wanted a divorce because of Anne.
And how do I know? Because Henry kept looking for approval of divorce, no matter how many people gave it? Or maybe I know because Henry could have gotten another woman who didn't demand as much as Anne? Maybe so. But mainly I know because, when I try hard enough, I can see that Henry VIII was a human, and not just a character from far away.
And when we see that all these people of facts are just people, then history becomes a storybook which we're trapped inside. And that's what happens when you see history for what it is, and people for who they are. Because time - it doesn't always change things as much as we might think.