Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hoping? Or making a better future?

Disregard what should be and think about what could be.
- Anonymous

When you think about it, what should be is what is not at this time. That is, it's looking back wards and wishing about what should have been.

What could be involves looking forward.

Why not look back? It's who we are, how we became what we are today. We can't learn from our mistakes of the past unless we look back and review what we could have done differently.

But the past will not repeat itself. The future, no matter how similar it may look to an objective source, always looks different to us than the events of our past did.

People who married the wrong kind of person are more likely to marry the same kind of person the next time. People who invest rashly in the stock market are more apt to invest just as rashly the next time.

Parents who beat their kids for their transgressions are more apt to beat them for their offences in the future. Someone who gets drunk to escape from the pain of his or her life is more apt than others to turn to the same form of escape in the future.

Many of us don't learn from our mistakes. So we might as well launch in new directions to give ourselves a chance to make new and different ones. Maybe we won't make mistakes next time if we do things differently.

We can't change anything about the past. As we look at the present, it is in fact our past because we can't change it either.

The only hope we have of changing anything, in our lives, in the lives of our friends or family, in our community or in the world is to plan for change in the future.

The only hope we have of changing anything in the future to make it better than our past is to do something differently.

The keywords there are "do something."

Here's another quote from that famous Anonymous: Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

If you think I am leading you astray here, consider how often you have thought that the behaviour of some people you know has been nothing less than insane. Yet they keep doing it.

There is no point in doing the same things the way we have been doing them and hoping that the results will be different. It won't work. It has never worked. According to Anonymous, it's insane.

We need to look for new ways that offer real hope by changing things in manageable ways.

We need to take the first step...choosing to do something differently. After that it gets easier.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to provide news ways with real hope.
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