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Lower Secondary English essays

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"Preserving the past is a waste of time. We should concentrate on the future instead."
 
The statement definitely does not stand. Everyone knows that the past is valuable. It is history for us. Preserving the past includes past records, buildings, customs, artifacts, food and so on. Let me illustrate by using an example. The first hand phones or computers were big, bulky and unwieldy compared to the light, portable ones nowadays. We must keep examples of these inventions to remind us of the efforts of the pioneers and to compare how far we have advanced.

Similarly, a walk in the old part of any city will remind us of the old way of life there. A look at ancient forts, castles or the ruins of the Acropolis, Colosseum or the Great Wall of China will remind a nation of its past civilization. In some capital cities, many existing parts of the city were planned years ago. For example, in my country, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, since its beginning still fulfilling its role as a central business hub hitherto. To date, The Dataran Merdeka, which was the scene of its declaration of independence, is still used as a focus of loyalty.

A writer was in Beijing, China, recently. He was sad to see many ancient parts of the city being torn down to make way for modern buildings. Ironically, foreigners played a part in getting the authorities to preserve the old courtyard houses of Beijing. A tour through these and the protected historic sites of Beijing like the Forbidden City will remind tourists of the great Chinese civilizations of the past. It is indeed ironic that sometimes foreigners are the ones who are more appreciative of a country's past than many local residents.

The author is not saying that every aspect of the past must be preserved. Some ancient parts of a city must go if they are not that valuable historically and are instead standing in the way of much needed development. But preservation is a must if a country is to keep its heritage and identity. Someone has said, "To know who you are, you must know where you come from." Thus, a glimpse of ancient temples or the preserved quarters of poor immigrants in the past will remind a people of their roots. Maintaining historic sites and museums is not only for tourists. It is not that the Pyramids of Egypt or the Tower of London are not profit-making ventures as tourism today is a major money earner for many countries. It is because all of us will stand to lose if the world's past, whether in the form of past buildings, cultures or artifacts man used for daily living in the past, is wiped out.

I read an article in Malaysia's newspapers recently of a man who kept things of the country's past, like household appliances or bus tickets. There is also a drive by some Malaysians to preserve some fast disappearing ethnic games or food. They feel that if these were to be gone, it would be the loss future generations. A tourist would want to see the old and modern aspects of the areas visited. Teenagers, however, like myself usually patronize clean, bright supermarkets rather than old, smelly wet markets. However, I would like to see some of these old markets preserved for the identification of future generations. If I possess the latest mobile phone, it does not mean that I do not appreciate the first and early hand phones.

Our lives have improved because we are constantly striving for progress. However, preserving things of the past would not stand in the way of inventions for the future. It is by building on the knowledge and experience of inventions like the telephone and the car that we have built the modern ones to raise our life quality and standard of living. We must look into the future, but the past must be preserved. We will progress more by learning from lessons from the past.

     
artifacts   relics
     
hitherto   until now
     
patronize   go to
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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