Most young people are impatient, want to receive only the most important facts without lyrical digressions, use prominent persons’ discoveries without thinking about the path they had to overcome to derive some valuable knowledge. The motivation for this approach is quite understandable. We live in a fantastic era when data flows strike us here and there. This is especially true for students reading textbooks, listening to lectures, performing assignments, processing large information volumes every day.
There is no time to consider the background of different theories and events because everyone strives to live here and now, achieve academic goals with minimum efforts. It is believed that delving into the past is senseless since it cannot contribute to the future.
At the same time, experts from Pro-Papers believe that reading biographies may be a rather useful and interesting practice expanding horizons, acquainting young people with the unique experience of the most remarkable world personalities.
A biography is something more than just a dry list with dates and corresponding events. It is a full-fledged artwork which may be as exciting as an intriguing thriller, a breathtaking adventure, a romantic novel, science fiction or any other genre. Feats of prominent people are no less inspiring than books on personal growth and career development. Real life may be no less vivid than any plot born in a human mind.
This article should inspire learners to explore the personal lives of famous politicians, military, artists, writers, etc. For their part, professors should understand why it is important to add more bibliographies in a curriculum and help students to become avid readers. And if a student asks his professor to “help me write my research paper”, he ought to point to learn about a certain prominent person who was an ace in the field.
Standing on shoulders of giants
Isaac Newton once wrote to his friend that standing on the shoulders of giants helped him to see further. This means that students do not have to overcome the long and challenging road to knowledge alone. They have experienced mentors showing how success may be achieved, how to avoid mistakes and find ways out of the trickiest situations. It is much easier to move to a goal if somebody has already found and defused all traps.
Mere facts memorizing is less effective. Students learn better when considering real cases, analyzing people’s actions, and their consequences. Of course, not all details from a person’s biography may characterize one as a giant. But they create a holistic picture, allow to understand circumstances and motifs which are imperceptible at first glance.
Even if reading life stories of criminals not worthy of admiration, students can learn some useful lessons, for example, understand which behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society.
Tracking history repetitions
It was not once noticed by researchers that history flows in circles. George Santayana once wrote that people who do not remember the past usually repeat it. This thought always was true, and nothing changes today.
Those who say that only the current moment matters are not right. Biographies show patterns which modern people reproduce in their lives. After getting acquainted with illustrative examples, they may boost critical thinking, take more well-informed, correct decisions, continue prominent persons’ work, and achieve even better results.
People may develop new technologies, delegate daily routine to smart robots, make their houses extra comfortable, bring infrastructure to progressive levels. But human nature, the main values of our race remain the same. As history is written by people, they rewrite the same words from century to century. If students want to take advantage of other people’s experiences, it is worth exploring biographies in addition to history textbooks.
Self-help books usually contain step-by-step instructions, explain what approaches and tools should be used to reach a goal. Such material is very valuable and useful if a person wants to get a quick result, not spend extra energy and time on analysis. Biographies do not provide clear and consistent action plans. A reader should go an indirect way and process much more information, make conclusions based on cases and ideas considered.
Making such discoveries, a person not only memorizes instructions but thinks critically, analyzes personal attitude towards other people’s achievements. This work is more profound, satisfying,and has a long-lasting effect. Several readers of one biography may make completely different conclusions depending on their personality traits, while to-do lists are unified, strict, and do not take into account a person’s needs.
Looking at the world from a new angle
A good biography can change our worldview and break stereotypes, become a refreshing breeze diluting everyday routine. It is customary to believe that some things are impossible. But after finding out that prominent persons have already embodied your dreams, you may become more enthusiastic, inspired, and self-confident, leave a comfort zone and dive in the boundless sea of opportunities.