What We Forget We Repeat

The Importance of a Liberal Arts Education

Before returning to graduate school and entering the mental health profession, I was a High School Teacher. My subject and interest was History, specifically, it was European History.

The refrain I heard from many students was, “but Mr. Schwartz, this subject is not relevant. It’s a waste of time because I cannot use this in any profession or work I will enter the future.”

The great philosopher George Santayana provided the best answer for these students, and as a warning:

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” “The philosopher George Santayana famously warned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Though the institutions of society have difficulty learning from History, individuals can do so.”

What we forget, we repeat.

Human beings can learn and grow from their positive and negative experiences. We accumulate knowledge, insights, and lessons from various situations we encounter. However, we do not internalize or remember these experiences. In that case, we may repeat the same actions, behaviors, or choices that led to negative outcomes in the past.

For example, consider someone who consistently falls into unhealthy relationships. They may have had similar issues but cannot recall the warning signs. As a result, they continue to engage in the same patterns, leading to repetitive, negative experiences.

Similarly, in a broader context, societies and nations can also fall into the trap of repeating historical mistakes. Suppose they forget the lessons from past conflicts, wars, or political upheavals. In that case, they may make similar errors, leading to the same negative consequences.

However, if there was ever a justification for a liberal arts education, it is provided by this discussion.

A liberal arts education will also help you develop a strong sense of social responsibility and strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills, such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving abilities, and a showed ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) did an online survey of employers and found that 93 percent of them agree that candidates’ demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major. Four out of five employers agreed all students should gain a broad knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences. 

Liberal Arts Impact 

A liberal arts education is invaluable in preparing students for the future. It develops essential problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities.

Liberal arts studies enable students to consider multiple perspectives.

The importance of a liberal arts education cannot be understated. Students gain the skills required to be successful in their field. A liberal arts degree can open up new opportunities for students that would otherwise not have access to certain fields or career paths. 

Liberal arts teach individuals to look at issues from different angles. This type of education emphasizes understanding the interconnectedness of systems. Liberal arts allow students to develop public speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills. These are all skills that will help them succeed in any profession.

Finally, a liberal arts education is essential for the growth of society. It encourages critical thinking and creativity. This knowledge can develop new solutions to problems or create new opportunities for individuals. Through a liberal arts education, people are more likely to develop the empathy and understanding necessary to be successful in any field.

A liberal arts education is invaluable in today’s world. It gives students the skills needed to be successful in their field. It is essential to the continued growth and success of society. As liberal arts continue to gain traction in higher education, students need to recognize its value and take advantage of its unique benefits. 

Research shows that higher education graduates are less likely to believe conspiracy theories. Education gives people a greater sense of control.


“What we forget, we repeat” emphasizes learning from our experiences.

Yes, I earned a Ph.D.


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