The Past Doesn’t Matter

WARNING: PROFANITY WITH NO APOLOGY

The old proverb of ‘Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it’ gets trotted out so much that I see it as a tired old horse that needs to be put out to pasture. Because not only are a lot of humans freaking dumb-asses who can’t even learn how to take a shit properly, they don’t care to learn about doing do so in the first place. And most of all, they don’t give a damn about the past when they do awful things like others have done before.

This thought came to me as I see people trotting out tired old horses like the proverb above and also ‘well, this was done by so-and-so’ and ‘they did bad things, too’.

No one can go back and change the past so if anyone throws past shit on the table during a discussion, it needs to be cleared off the table and thrown in the trash. Because bringing up the past is just digging through the garbage to try to bring something back to life that’s dead.

I think people look to the past because they don’t want to face the present in all its’ shitty glory (insert sarcasm here). Yes, I can look back on my past and think fondly of it. But I can also look back and say what my mother used to say: “The good old days sucked.” And there are things in my past that I would rather not talk about, nor relive because I learned some pretty shitty lessons about people and life in general back then. But now I am working my butt off not to live by that shit. Every time in my mind when I feel a bit of regret and start to do ‘would’ve-could’ve-should’ve’ as my father used to call it, I shut it down and tell myself to focus on the here and now.

Yes, I freely admit that I live in the present. I live without a safety net so to speak, and without a lot of money right now, either. I survive, yes, but in that survival I’ve learned more about living than in my previous forty-four years. And I’ve learned that if I want to solve my problems, I need to focus on the here-and-now and what I can do today. Because looking to my past sure as hell hasn’t solved any of my problems so why should I look there for answers to the present?

So in the larger context of the world around us, let’s quit trying to dodge the problem by saying ‘oh we need to learn from the past in order not to do this again’, or ‘someone else did this before so why all the fuss now?’ The second is even more full of bullshit than the first one. How in the freaking hell does a past action by someone cause a present problem? If someone fucked up before, yeah they’ll probably fuck up again. But what if they’re not fucking up now, but someone else is? Why not go after the someone else in the present doing the fucking up?

Now, I will admit here that you can look back at decisions made and decide not to make those same decisions again. I strongly believe that we can all make different decisions than we have before, and that we can make different decisions than those of people around us, even ones that hurt us. And as long as your decision is not causing harm, it’s not wrong. And if someone doesn’t like that, tell them to kiss your ass then fuck off. This tit-for-tat, past-versus-present bullshit is just that, total bullshit because these face-offs over past and present don’t accomplish a damn thing. It’s a tactic used to divert someone from making a decision for themselves, and not facing a present issue head-on.

Yes, I’m sure we’ve all fucked up in the past. I know I sure as hell have. And I could say I did the best I could with what I had to work with, and what I knew then, and blah, blah, blah. But I can’t go back and change things since I haven’t discovered time-travel and you know what, I don’t want to. I know very well that life isn’t perfect, but I believe we can always move forward unless we’re dead and buried.

And I think this is why I’m having trouble looking back on things and writing about them now. I’m so focused on the present that the past is losing its’ hold on me. And it feels good, real good in fact.

So my advice to anyone reading this would be to break those chains that you’ve given to the past, and don’t use the past as a way of avoid dealing with the present.