I took this photo while taking a tour of the Mayan temples of Chacchoben in Mexico. The tour guide spoke about the history of the Mayan temples and what they were used for. There were about five temples that have been found so far. There were some hills around us that he pointed out, which in fact were not hills, but have been speculated to be former Mayan ruins that have been buried and taken over by nature. Each area had its purpose, one area that we stood in was once a marketplace, and many of the other places were used for different social gatherings such as ritual sacrifices and other ceremonies. The location in the photo was where one of those social gathering was held. What fascinated me the most with this one location is that it shows how much mother nature has taken over what was once a civilization, since everywhere I looked there were trees reclaiming the land.
During this quarantine period I quickly noticed how quickly nature takes over when people are forced away from civilization. During my final days of school, I noticed just in my backyard an abundance of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits, more so than what was normal for this time of year. I practice archery in my back yard with a foam target, and one day I decided to go out and shoot some arrows, and saw a rabbit hopping away while giving me the “What are you doing out here?” look (at least that is what it looked like to me). I later joked around that it was the animals that planned this virus just to take a vacation from us humans.
This also reminded me of learning about the Mayans in school, and how there population decreased because the Spanish came over and settled, bringing over guess what, yes that’s right, diseases that the Mayans were not immune to, killing off thousands to millions. This sounds familiar, right? What happened with the Mayans could have been an epidemic however if you consider the fact that the Mayans have vanished without a trace and no explanation you could consider what had happened to them to be just as bad.
It is fascinating with how quickly nature can take over and reclaim what humans have built upon it. That is the main thing that this picture makes me think of. If we are not careful enough and take care of ourselves as well as this planet then we will have the same fate as the Mayans and the roots of our legacy will disappear under the roots of nature.
People claim that covid19 is something new. Even though this virus is new does not mean that mankind hasn’t dealt with similar viruses before. When the Mayans started getting sick, they had no idea what was happening, and why they were dying so quickly. It was completely new to them and they did not have the resources that we have today so they just disappeared. If we are not careful then the same thing will happen to us.
It is funny how certain things will happen again and again every few generations such as disease, war, politics, religion conflict, and racial conflict. People are focused on changing history, but the thing is you can not change the past. The past is the past, it has already happened. The only thing you can change is the future by looking into the past and learning from the past to change the future and to be able to look at each other and say “wow we went through hell to get to where we are now”.
To improve ourselves we need to go down to the roots of it all. We need to improve how we study history and not study the same thing over and over. Through my school career and every school that I went to it was the same thing over and over and it was mainly American history taught the same way. Yes, history is the past and the outcome cannot be changed, however history is diverse and should be taught diversely. One example would be in Elementary you would learn about your countries history, then in middle school you would learn world history then in high school you would study certain events that happened in every country such as war, disease, and slavery. Once you get into college it should be a choice to continue to study history.
Unfortunately, history is not taught in such away. Instead it is taught in a straight line leaving out a lot of valuable information causing history to repeat it self. History is the study of past lives and life does not go in a strait line. Instead it spreads out like the roots of a tree in the ground then grows into a tree that branches in all direction.