Learn From The Past, But Look Toward The Future

kawamura / Twenty20.com
kawamura / Twenty20.com

Some of us enjoy history. We see it as a truth, a guide to the future, a beautiful story. Some of us hate history. We see it as a boring waste of time.

But undeniably, we all have at least this one common association with history: We’ve all, at one point or another, looked back on our own history, our past, and analyzed it for everything that it is, whether it be our childhood, a bad relationship, or one of those great moments of embarrassment that just comes back to haunt you and remind you how awkward of a person you really are. Whether you’re missing the happiness of a simpler time or trying to find the first tumble of the dominos of your life that somehow all came falling down. You’re tempering with your past. We remember what we’ve been through because its quite important to who we are today. But you all know this.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering why we all share this common obsession with our past. Why do we care? I mean, we are where we are in life and that should be the end of the story, right? Except I want to figure out why I have issues with authority. And maybe you want to find out why you can’t commit. Whatever it is we’re looking to solve within ourselves we know it began in the past, so we look to see where it started in hopes of learning from it. In hopes of having the ability to see the bright red warning signs in the future that something or someone is going to cause a lot of problems in our life.

Sadly, we always fall victim to the future anyway.

I thought that we look to the past to learn from our mistakes, but after a few times of making the same mistake over and over again I had a different idea.

The thing about the past is that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, yet it creates this monster inside of us while we regret it or miss it. The past is so haunting because we are SO helpless in mending it. I mean all of our lives we have been taught if we have a problem, we find a solution. It’s elementary. That is simply the basics of biology right there, ladies and gents. However, the problem is the past is just one big unfixable problem and how do we humans deal with devastating helplessness? That inability to do anything goes against the grain of our survival.

For example, how many times have you or a friend said, “God, I wish we could go back to being in kindergarten when we had naptime. I took advantage of that”? You guys laugh about it, but there is a bit of truth to that simple statement. You’re missing a time when life was easier, and a part of you tugs inside realizing you’re never going to get that time back. You absolutely miss something you’ll never get to experience again.

Yeah, yeah, you can say okay then if you can’t do anything learn from the past, forget it and move on. Easier said than done. And what if you misinterpreted the lesson? Convince yourself otherwise?

So we move on from the past anyway and look forward to the future, keeping in mind that history always repeats itself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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