Inspired by this post from Insanity Bytes, I thought I’d look at how we perceive the past, and the future.
The past tends to be less terrifying than the future, no matter what. For all the demons, pain and difficulties that loiter in the pasts of each and every one of us, the past holds certainty. It happened, we know it happened, and nothing can change that, for better or worse. The past is written, set in stone so to speak, but the future? The future is not. The future is full of potential. It is exciting, but it can also be frightening. This is not so much of a problem in the short-term (although to be fair, for some it can be), for we usually have day-to-day routines. For example, I know that I will go to work, I know when I will go to work, and I broadly know what my working day will look like. In the longer term, say six months from now, I don’t know what will happen. Six years from now, what will the world look like? I would like to think I have a rough idea, but I truly know?
What tends to help temper the fear and uncertainty of the future is experience. As we get older, we can draw upon our experiences in the past. We can draw comfort from memories of love, and hope from memories where we overcame adversity. Our past mistakes might sometimes feel painful, but those painful memories can inspire us to learn, and to be better than we were. That can make the future less frightening.