“I used to be a women killer back then, my body was a work of art with fat under ten percent.”
“People used to mistake my biceps for basketball, not too long ago. Just a year and a half back.”
These are some of the usual things I hear from my friends who were into body building once, seeking solace in the warmth of “used-to-be” and “back then” to cover the tepidity of the fact that they’ve subconsciously resigned to their inability in the present.
Only places that eulogise the past are history books, museums and graveyards.
For we live to make another day count, else we’re pronounced dead. Life exists in the present continuous realm. with everyone elbowing their spot under the Sun, making us a creature of the present, competitively or greedily to remain relevant. The mind is attuned to desire, dream, aspire and hope; all of which are accruals set to fructify in a time to be born, generically called the future.
The mind acclimatizes an individual to the blueprint of the ecosystem he could expect to come across in his future, thus assisting him in making the choices with concurrent consequences attached while making a smooth transition.
It is a weak human tendency to relentlessly etch indelible trophies in the mind of once relevant relations and achievements A reminder of what we were capable of once, than what we are capable of now; like the stuffed heads of hunted animals decorating the walls of a once feared hunter.
Some go about their ex-lovers of the past euphorically, deluding themselves to believe that they were the last of the patrons of the Creator’s limited edition line. When in reality, not only did the limited edition move on to other patrons; but also created a few more limited editions to adorn the face of earth, with maybe one of them named after the loser in posthumous recognition.
Not only do these people close the doors on a sea of opportunities ; but subconsciously go on to convince themselves of the inability to find a better person with dandruff hit facial hair and alchohol affected liver serving as collateral monuments to their once divine love.
Same with our gratitude to a person from a past action of benevolence or consideration. It is fine to be grateful, its a wonderful virtue that makes the world a thankful place. But it shouldn’t blur our judgement to a present act of his indiscretion that jeopardizes our self-respect or dignity; requiring us to put our feet down firmly.
Respect is a continuous concept, a reciprocating one at that. So when a once respectful person, becomes disrespectful off late and isn’t prone to reason or consideration; tolerance to him for old time sake would just mean submissive gasoline supply to a rampant fire.
For once an adorable mutt as lovely as it was, rabied when it becomes, has to be put to rest.
While it is healthy to derive to inspiration from one’s past to rekindle a non-materialistic ideal,like vegetarianism or rationality; it is counterproductive to yardstick one’s past for evaluating the fruitfulness of a present endeavor, For one it’s not modest, the result would be skewed and the perspective would be narrow.
To look into one’s self and not looking beyond that, is a good place to peaceful and content. However self improvement is an extra mural process with need for drawing inspiration from source beyond the self.
For instance take a flimsy concept like self assessment about the way one dresses up. If the comparison is with the former self set up a few years back at a time when we still weren’t a paragon of fashion ,the inference would be misleadingly heartening. However if we draw parallels with an icon or much better ,a friend regarded for their sense of fashion; it would not only be humbling; but a far more realistic assessment.
We could muse about lost love or find new love in the mean time, we could bask in erstwhile glory or relentlessly work towards an impracticable goal.To decay in familiar nostalgia or stumble to competence in an enigmatic present, the choice is ours.
We would at anytime be at crossroads between two paths in our lives- one that we came from and the one which we ought to take. Choice that we make,former or latter, takes us behind or ahead.