On analyzing my past experience, I should say that my personal growth and intellectual maturing was, to a significant extent, affected by my interest and study of history and the past of the mankind. In this respect, I would like to lay emphasis on the fact that the study of history helped to reevaluate my views on our life, our society, and relationships between people and to shape my personal philosophy, principles, views and beliefs which have formed my identity.
In fact, my first interest to the study of history was evoked after the attendance of a museum, where I saw artifacts and evidences of the existence of people who lived centuries ago. After the attendance of the museum, the desire to learn more about the past, about the history grew stronger and I could not resist to this desire. Eventually, I started to learn history on my own, I attempted to find information about the past of my country, but I was particularly impressed by the history of ancient civilizations, especially Roman civilization, which actually laid the foundation to the modern western civilization. The study of the history helped me to understand that we, people, have the past, which, to a significant extent, defines our present life and, what is more, it can affect our future, especially if we fail to learn lessons the history taught us. For instance, it seems to me illogical that the mankind has being fighting all the time since the ancient epoch and the war has become a natural state for human society, though its destructive effects are obvious. Moreover, as a rule, people start wars for the same reasons as they did in the past and it looks like they do the same errors they did in the past. This is why I strongly believe that, if people did know their history, they would be more tolerant and more reasonable in their actions. In such a way, the study of history helped me to grow intellectually and develop my personal philosophy, which, I am sure, is quite different from the philosophy which dominates in the contemporary, consumerist society.
At the same time, my interest in history also influenced my personal life since, as I learned about the past of my country and other civilizations, I grew more concerned with the past of my own family and I attempted to learn as much as possible about my ancestors. As a result, I grew confident of the importance of traditional family values, which are often neglected today. Now, I understand that family is extremely important in our life and I attempt to maintain close relationships with my relatives, even though some of them live far from my home. In such a way, the study of history helped me to reevaluate my personal values.
In addition, the interest to history contributed to the development of analytical skills. I have noticed that I tend to analyze events that take place in my city, country and the world at large in historical context. I try to compare modern society to civilization of the past. In addition, I developed inclinations to critical thinking that helps me to adequately perceive the surrounding world and it helps me better understand my self.
Thus, in conclusion, I should say that my interest and study of history contributed to my personal and intellectual development and maturing.