I want to continue the conversation from my last blog, the conversation about why sports biographies of athletes are so beneficial to read. All of us need to learn from the past. Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Although some would say he was merely paraphrasing historian George Santayana who said, ”Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Obviously the idea of learning from the past as a way to improve our future or to avoid the mistakes we have made has been kicked around by more than one great thinker. Because we as a people, as a society, realize that change does not imply progress. If we want progress, if we want to be better, we need to learn some key lessons, lessons that are seldom learned through a bunch of dates and names, but rather by looking through the lens of a specific person’s hurdles, their persistence in overcoming those hurdles and finally, their victories. When our children read about how key moments in the lives of others can become life-altering, history comes alive. Biographies of athletes can become the perfect vehicle to guide your young child to the importance of understanding and learning about history in a way that few history teachers in a classroom can, although I will go out on a limb and say many teachers will certainly try. By approaching history through the life of one person, your child will learn what life was like in that person’s world. That skill is called empathy and it is sorely lacking in our world.