KENYA SUMAKU

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Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards But Must Be Lived Forwards

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on December 27, 2009

By Samuel O.Tots

This simple sentence made of eleven words, has ended up being a way of life to most of us. To understand it, you must give it deep thoughts and to many it has proven to be as hard as the name of the person who came up with it.

Let me approach it this way. In our day to day lives, we face different kinds of choices from time to time. Funny enough, we have to let our minds go back in time and try to figure out the situation we are in and how it was tackled in the past, the consequences faced afterwards and so on.

It is evident in our day to day lives, for example that most of our leaders i.e. those who got into power recently tend to seek advice from those who were there before to give them tips on how to tackle some situations. Indeed it’s like succumbing to nature.

Giving it another shot, people usually say that sons tend to follow the footsteps of their fathers’ as daughters follow those of their mothers. How did this come about? This is a question that doesn’t seem to get a direct answer. So to speak, life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forward

From another perspective, for one to tell how his or her life has been developing, one must refer to the past i.e. what has actually already happened in his or her life. To be more precise, if you want to know the character of a person or what you expect the person to do in the future, you put their past into consideration. This makes it easier to predict their future actions.

It’s yet another time we unveil a further application of Soren’s philosophy. It is most certain that when one applies for a job in some institution, the immediate thing that will be required is the person’s details concerning his part. This acts as an anchor for the person to get the job and do it into the future. Truly the past makes way for the future.

Most people seem to understand situations that have already passed and tend to make very intelligent suggestions about them but all in all the most important thing is to abide by the above law of nature. It is good that God gave us the mind to think and recall various events in life and apparently it is the best option to many. We must also try to peer forward and analyze critically situations that may be heading our way because forewarned is forearmed.

This phrase also comes about when you view life from this perspective. Since the day of creation, days have been passing creating history or rather the past and from this, people try to flash back and see how they have been leading their lives so as to understand themselves. All in all, the main and most certain thing is that life will always be lived forward.

In my entire life, there have been various ups and downs but the spirit of trying that lies deep within me has always been pushing me on. For real, one is never a failure until he/she stops trying. In this state of life, to me, the past mistakes should be avoided as much as possible. There is no need of saying ‘I wish I did this when I had such and such an opportunity’. It has already happened and there is no changing fact.

People tend to realize that certain things that they do in life lead to unhappiness a little bit later and this is why testimonies exist in our day to day lives. Apparently, testimonies come from people who give their past deep thought and decide to change. Yes! You can only understand life backwards but must live it forwards.

Why do we bother looking into the past, whereas time is money? The time we waste lamenting that I wish I did this or that can be used effectively to come up with something constructive in life which may economically uplift you. It is true everyone has the downsides of life (except for the few infants who have been born this minute) but the past belongs to the dead i.e. it is as gone as the dead. As much as the past exists, it should act as a reference or a lesson guide; we should find our bearing from what has already occurred to us.

In some ways, the past is a diminishing factor even if it can be understood better. This is because, most people tend to believe that they cannot make successful things in life maybe because something bad happened or they did something and it came out negatively, so it is better to let go of the past and try to face the future in God’s favors. Many do this and succeed; some of them have gone to the extent of writing songs about this topic.

As much as we understand life backwards easily, we should readily press forward so as to achieve our goals.

-The views of a young digizen

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