Monday, August 2, 2010
Living In the Future
So, we say we want things the way they used to be? The glaring difficulty with this type of thinking is called the concept of "impossibility." No amount of longing and wishing winds back the hands of the ticking clock. One certainty is that the clock will run forward in an orderly fashion know as "time" until the Man lets us breathe our last minutes. Only then will we get some kind of an instant replay or life review. Since that transformation involves living in a different set of circumstances in a different dimension, the human brain, at best, is incapable of understanding the honest value of any (if there is any) purpose of a single life.
When we live wishing for what we had, we cannot fully comprehend what lies immediately ahead. In this sense, we don't really live for the present, as many believe, but instead we live in the near and distant future. All precautions, plans, intelligence, and intention is contrived for this future. Our future represents our only indefinite concept of time: the only part of the nonspatial continuum over which we have some control. Whether we are taking our next footstep or our next vacation, we look, plan, and hopefully steer toward what is coming.
Let's not kid ourselves. The past is gone, incapable of alteration. And, the present is only perceived as a fleeting moment that defies control because of its brevity as an intermediate between the past and the future. That leaves conscious humans with one choice -- they must live for the future. To do otherwise is to invite catastrophe.
Yet, stubborn to change, many of us cling to the past and relish the productive moments of the present as if they represent our lives in their entirety. Indeed, if everyone dropped dead now, at the same moment, that might be true, yet I believe most of us will survive reading this post into other tomorrows. We base our hopes, our dreams, and our changes upon the concept of looking forward, not dwelling in our pasts. Final accomplishments and good works are incomplete for people who insist upon trying to stop the definite process of the passage of time.
As we age, so many might judge us on our pasts and ignore any possible progression we make toward our futures. Reputations, bad records, immature actions -- people form opinions based on these parts of our pasts, and they wish to catalog us in files that resist future change. Many times, people change when their future allows them to live lives that grow more productive as they gain perspective and enlightenment. To hold people to their past alone is to become their God. As fair as it may seem to the human judge, such a personal judgmental limitation is unfair.
Shouldn't we, instead, allow others the personal freedom to become beings of their futures? Maybe the critical nature of our own minds disallows others to the right of that privilege. If that is so, then isn't that a fault of ours and not a fault of those we criticize? The very fact we believe that the future can hold limitless possibilities -- changes, alterations, a gift of being born again -- provides evidence of our enduring look toward what lies ahead.
Benefits of living in the future abound. As we see "people in progress," we understand much more about the inherent flaws of being human as well as the possible redemption of their character inherent in free will. Looking into our own futures keeps us busy with adjustments and opportunities. Those who look ahead can also realize the importance of their reliance on others and how their lives must change to meet new challenges.
So, I believe that productive people live in the future, controlling what little of it they might and striving to gain ground in small steps. If you must judge me now, please judge me as incomplete. If you decide to delay your judgment of me, I say "all the better." That is basically my idea of being fair. If, however, the past is really where you long to be and where you will be most happy, reminisce on your own unfinished story and stay the hell away from mine.