The old saying You can’t create the future by clinging on to the past seems to get more clear-cut by the day. The past used to be the cornerstone of most of our thoughts and activities—especially as far as Jesus was concerned. We told ourselves that we learned via the past how not to make the same mistakes and how to be good people. We talked for hours on the good ole days and the happenings in the Bible.
Before long though we realized with a shrug that nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.
After World War II, we began talking about the future and all we got from those discussions were several Star Wars movies. The future became commercialized and for the most part came to consist of just so much flash, monster makeup, tons of loud background music and sound effects. The future has pretty much wearied many people these days.
“What has all this got to do with communication?” you might ask. If the past no longer holds a lot of us in awe and we’re tired of guessing what’s going to happen down the road, then that only leaves the present. To tell the truth, many people have even become tired of that.
We still have a lot of people hanging on to the past and this causes a closed mind. Remember when I wrote a blog about The Fog Index and put it on Linkedin? All sorts of resistance resulted because many Linkedin people I found out are more comfortable with the past than learning any new developments in the world of writing. It would be like someone insisting on using a typewriter instead of a computer for their writing.
So, this brings up the bottom line question: Are you marching forward or are you moving backwards?
If your eyes are straight ahead, then you know which way you’re headed even if you don’t like what you see. This is called adjusting. Some call it “going with the flow.” And it’s also called “living. “
If you just can’t adjust to change, then you’re obviously looking backwards. You will ultimately trip and fall down. You are going to be frustrated because you’re on a fool’s errand. You’ll never make the past into the present because the present is constantly changing. If you are looking backwards, you’re day dreaming your way through life. It’s okay to visit the past but you sure don’t want to set up residence there.
Many people who worship the past spend inordinate amounts of time trying to convince other people that their old-fashioned ways are the correct ones. Sure we can learn from the past but to experience life we must operate in the present. You can’t have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. You can’t sit on two stools at the same time as my Aunt Nanny Lou used to tell me. I think she was the world’s first hippy. At least she marched to a modern tune in life—and in doing so, taught me not to be afraid of the word “new”.