This I Believe

Paige - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The past reminds the present where it came from. The present could learn quite the lesson from the mistakes the past has made. Without knowledge of the past, the present and even the future, would be manically flailing around, repeating mistakes made by the past, unaware of their lack of originality and uniqueness. Without the past’s guidance, societies would unknowingly stumble blindly forward into oblivion and repetition.

I believe in the past. I believe in the past’s ability to guide society into a brighter future. I believe that the present and future should occasionally turn around, glance behind them and take note of the mistakes and accomplishments of the past. I believe that the present, though not entirely clueless about itself, could always use guidance in its decisions; decisions about war, love, hate, economy, philosophy are not easy decisions to make. But with recognition of the past, the present can take heed of what might be ahead of it in the future.

I, along with my present and future, must not rely solely on the past though. I cannot fixate on old victories and mistakes. If I dwell, the present will fly by and become nothing but the past, but a past without any victories or mistakes at all. By dwelling completely on the past, my present disappears. Time will disappear. I must, instead, occasionally look back, just a quick glance at the past, absorb the concrete information I see, and let it help me in my current situation. And help is all it will do. I will not let the past control my life.

When I was younger, I allowed past mistakes to settle in my mind and retain power over my actions. But that was in the past. Since then, since the past, I have learned not to let my past control my present. By realizing that the past is available for use in moderation, I have learned many things about myself. I have learned to have no regrets. Regrets are for those living in the past. But I do not live in the past.

I live in the present.