Looking Back On Right Now

They say hindsight is 20/20, and if that’s true it’s amazing because I know how blurry the world can be when I don’t have my glasses on. Every morning I wake up and the world around me is blurry, but my memories are clear, and that clarity is a gift that should never be taken for granted. When I roll out of bed and put my glasses on, my eyes begin to see the sharp outlines of reality. When I cast my thoughts back with the glasses of hindsight, my mind begins to see the sharp outlines of the past. 

Looking back, I have the advantage of time and the greater perspective it brings. I see not only what happened, but where it was leading. I see the good decisions that grew into good results, and (too often) the foolish decisions that grew into problems. With the bright light of the future shining back, the shadows and gaps in my thoughts and actions are thrown into sharp relief. How ignorant I was. How selfish. How foolish. How easy it is to see.

Looking back, I feel wise and mature compared to my past self. Hopefully I am wise and mature compared to my past self. But what would happen if I turned the comparison around and looked forward instead? Let’s say ten years forward, after another whole decade of living and learning. Looking back from where I am then, what will I think of myself today? What will I think about my current ways of thinking, my fears, my priorities, my choices? Hopefully I’ll see ways that I’ve grown, but probably (if my life up to now is any indication) I’ll also see my own foolishness in stark relief. 

As much as I’ve grown, I have a long way to go. This calls for humility. The best way to make sure I’m further along ten years from now is to be realistic about where I am now, realistic about my continuing need for help and correction and growth in wisdom. The best way to stop making progress at all is to believe I’ve already arrived. 

Someday we’ll all look back on today with the sharp clarity brought by the glasses of hindsight. What will we see?

3 thoughts on “Looking Back On Right Now”

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