Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Future”

Making History Disappear

When I was younger I was fortunate to have been taught the value of history. Its perspectives, its meaning, the reasons that things happened in the past and the way things got to where they are now. It is all part of the value of understanding history.

History Disappears

It’s great in our modern times that we have so many ways to learn about history. History channels on TV, history websites, documentary movies and books written about some of the most influential people and times in Earth’s past.

But also it seems today that we are more eager than ever to erase parts of history. By distorting it in those same places that supply it, and even more so by erasing its reference in the culture we live in. It is a delicate balance for sure. Our racial and political prejudices make for what seems valid reasons to just eradicate any current reference to those things deemed unacceptable now. As they may have seemed right in the past, today they may seem very biased, cruel or insensitive to how things are in the “now.”

But we are in the times of the “information age” where information is readily available at the push of a button. We have to be careful to understand that just because we have an abundance of information – doesn’t mean we have an abundance of “knowledge”.  Erasing the past entirely for the sake of the future would be most difficult, but erasing the memories of what those things are in the past can be very easy. In the course of that effort, the generations ahead will be unaware of what brought them to that point.

So my advice to my kids? 

Understand history and respect it. My father and my wife’s father both fought in World War 2. They are remembered by their children, but as my kids grow up and they have children they will have a different perspective. Even the veterans of the Vietnam era will only be a fact in the history data that will exist on the Internet or in books or movies. It may only seem like another fiction book or story to some of them

When history gets erased, it will open up the opportunity for it to be repeated. With no lessons learned, generations ahead will not understand the perspectives on which we got to where we are… they will go in and blindly misunderstand the reasons for things.

Erasing history and the references to things around is can be labeled as “progress” or “the correct thing to do” – and that is always going to happen. But it has accelerated because we live in the age where an abundance of information and opinion is shared with everyone.  So everyone’s opinion is supposed to count, but with regard to history- the basis for formulating those opinions are lost in history (or the lack of its understanding).


You Can Never Go Back

Lately I have found myself with the chance to visit with old friends I haven’t seen in ages. It has been an absolute joy. The echoes of the remembrances are fun to hear, and I have realized they have so much importance in who I am today.

But as much fun as it is to look at the past and enjoy the things that made that time special (although it didn’t always seem that special at the time), just can’t help thinking about the adage ” You can never go back” Stairs To Climb

That isn’t a bad thing, if you did go back in time knowing what you know now, it would certainly be different. If you went back to the present day friends and haunts from the past, it wouldn’t be the same either. Yes, it is okay to visit and capture those memories and have a chance to relive some of the experience. But in the long-run you will out stay your welcome – reality comes back and you would notice you are older (but hopefully wiser) – maybe a bit more jaded and less willing to accept the things that may not have bothered you in the past.

  • So as my wife and I have said to our kids often enough, be sure to be facing forward in your life, look for the next opportunity to grow in your life, spiritual growth, and all of the things that you can reach for.
  • Don’t forget who you are either, It is that past that brought you here. You cannot discard it like it didn’t happen, you lived it and it served you as well as it could. You made good decisions, experienced bad ones, had some luck and misfortune along the way.
  • Take nothing for granted, life is short and you need to wrap yourself in all of what it is- past, present and future. But you can’t ever go back and have it be the same,.. but the future is left to be written.

Predicting the Future

There are some days that I think how great it would be to predict the future. You would be able to know where things would be going. You could be confident that each day would be set. There would be no guessing about the challenges ahead. There would be less fear of the unknown. No worries about tomorrow. You could help so many others and yourself in so many ways.

Knowing the future would mean you could win the lottery or buy the next big stock (if I had only bought Apple stock when my friends told me). You could stop bad things from happening, and be present for the exciting things. Yes I know all the complicated science around changing events on the space-time continuum – they have made movies and books about that and site all of what Einstein was theorizing (even though many more have gone further in this whole thing). Even Dr. Brown explained it well ( for you Back to the Future fans). Still it might be cool to know. Maybe.

Then I realize that there’d be little to desire, not much to dream for. It would constantly be sad for the surprise and the adventure of our God-given life on Earth would be gone.  We would know things we don’t want to know, and see things we could not change even as we knew they were coming. Even our own fateful demise would be waiting off in the predictable future. Our sense of self-value would be distorted. If we are all going to die eventually, does it benefit us to know when? Or should we instead be spending every day as the precious thing it is.

No.. Not really a good thing to know the future.  All of the negatives would far outweigh the positives.  Time is forever marching forward and we are moving ahead as it unfolds (okay there are scientists that will argue that one too). We are in Gods hands and our own path is ours to choose. Not really in the here and now though as much as in the choice for eternity after this life.

We can take each day as it comes and make it work for us. When so many people in this world cannot predict where their next morsel of food or drink will come;we should consider that “fortunate” predictability in our futures, and be thankful. Take consideration for the unknown. Realize that life is there to be cherished, and worry will not overcome you. Even as we know life will end, we can take this next moment in the future of our lives to be grateful for e opportunity to be here, to have known each other.

What Are Your Plans?

What are your plans? I mean is- what are you going to do tomorrow? OR the weekend? Or next week? Next month? Before the end of the year? Just what are you planning to do?

Sometimes it seems we have it all mapped out. Dinner out tomorrow, shopping on the weekend. Going to a movie, going out to the club. But then things happen. Work gets in the way, or just emotional baggage comes and swoops you up and makes the whole thing change.

The harder you plan it seems, the more things seem to change the course. Sometimes it seems others have plans for you. They influence the direction your going and make for an abrupt turn of events. There are times that is fun, just go with it and let it happen. Other times it feels like things are just spinning out of control and your plans are just not happening the way you envisioned.

Of course those can just be the plans in your near future, jotted down on your calendar on your smartphone, scribbled on the calendar on your desk. But those longer term plans – kind of fuzzy? Kind of indefinite? Things you wish you could do someday or something you have imagined will be in your future?

Accepting change is as difficult as accepting the plan. Finding the goals to get where you want to be can be difficult. Not worrying about that forever tomorrow, but at least putting one foot in front of another and head out toward that point in the distance. “Let tomorrow take care of itself” is a spiritual path we can all count on on our journey. But aiming for the future is also what hope depends on, it is the picture that keeps us moving. No GPS can get us there, no Google map that will put a pin on the point of destination. But it is your inner compass that you have to look at. Head out. Make plans… know that in the course of things it will change but make sure you have a vision.

Yes, you have to work on your plan. If you want things to go your way you have to focus on working the plan. You are in control of your future. But don’t forget that there are as many deviations as there are straight lines. Change can be good. The core of what you want though, is you and the things written on your heart and soul. So just go now… make tracks while we have our time here on Earth. But make them count on your journey. Plan on it. Plan on change. Don’t be afraid of the change of course, and with the view from your heart, don’t worry about the final outcome. Trust yourself to do what is right on the long and winding road to the end.

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