“There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past, which in fact, never existed.” Robert F. Kennedy
I’m sure I’ve mused over this before, the contrast of looking behind with longing or looking forward with anticipation.
For as long as I can remember, I haven’t been someone who wants whatever the past was to be my present or my future. I look back at my own life and see how I didn’t know what I do now, how I made mistakes I would make again if I were in the same place at the same time. And I look back at society and see how much we were in need of real change, how oppressive the “good old days” really were. I don’t want those times again. Even when I see some good things, like parents who let children be children and didn’t live in fear that “something” would happen to them, I still don’t want those days back because to have that, we have to have all of it. Yikes!
I am extremely grateful I don’t live in fear of the future. How paralyzing that is, and how much it prevents us from the simple freedom of being just who we are.
I don’t mistrust the present, either. I don’t even know what that means. The present is all we have. I do know that. And I also know, and I really know this in the depths of my being, that when I am completely in the present moment, everything is perfect.
So I live my life being distracted, looking back and looking ahead, and then hauling myself back into the present moment and experiencing fleeting nanoseconds of perfection.
I read something several years ago I’d forgotten about until just now: Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood; only today can our fire burn brightly.
I know I didn’t muse about Robert Kennedy’s quote the way I think he intended. But I like where my mind went with it.
Thanks, Bobby! Today I want my fire to burn brightly! Just like yours did!