It's too easy to get bogged down in our history. Of course, we study history in school. Religious institutions generally study the history of their faiths as a means of explaining their purposes in life. Politicians discuss history to their constituents to highlight past errors, especially, though, when mentioning the faults of rival members who were in power before them. Milestone events often reflect on history, using statistics to look at trends over time to see what, if anything has changed; these statistics are also used widely in financial analyses, banking, government reforms, social policies, etc. History is the emphasis for which we try to change the future.
However, reflecting on the Christian Easter story, it is not about a man fulfilling prophecies just to be executed by Roman crucifixion in order to show by resurrection that he rose again. As I learned in this morning's church service, by summarising it like this, we are simply reflecting on the past events and thus, are looking backwards... and using my school's motto, we are doing this with pride, which happens to be one of the seven deadly sins listed in the Bible. Instead, we should be looking forward; we are obviously aware of what happened, but we need to see where we are to go ahead in our lives and this does not come from looking in the past, but rather by planning in the present to aim for a better future. Going back to the Christian Easter story, after Jesus was resurrected, he actually remained on the Earth for several days before ascending into Heaven (i.e. the Ascension, a key element of the Easter story that is not mentioned with any significant relevance at Easter time). After he ascended and was never seen again, his disciples continued to look into the sky, expecting him to return to them almost immediately. They were told by angels to stop doing this and instead, to start doing what they were told to do by Jesus. By staring into the sky, do Christians wonder "When will Jesus come back to Earth?" or "When will I get to be with God with Jesus seated at His right hand?" If it's the former, then it's a reflection of the past event and again, it's the trap of looking backwards, but if it's the latter, then it's preparing the way, looking forward with hope, ignoring the past completely, aside from simply knowing the facts of what happened.
In my postgraduate research, I am often having to look at past statistics involving one group of students in comparison to more recent statistics involving another group of students to see if there is any progress in their results. Of course, there is a tragic flaw in that the students are different, but in terms of research, it is apparently acceptable these days to allow this sort of comparison to take place because time-scale analysis seems to be a happening thing. When I go back to my research, I will likely need to conduct new analyses in order to bring the thesis up-to-date, but again, the tragic flaw will be there and this will need to be discussed to some extent. However, I must remember to look forward with hope; focusing on how my research can help others should be the selling point and me getting my Ph.D. is the end goal I wish to achieve. Therefore, I should only state the facts of the past, not looking backwards with pride, but instead, looking forward with the goals in mind so that I will have the hope of achieving them eventually.
With my previous job situation, I am often having to look backwards at what happened, but by stating the facts of what happened and analysing the evidence I now have, I can look forward more easily, knowing how to move forward with the hope of achieving the outcome I am seeking. The facts of history can help in planning the future, but you need to be careful as you should not look at the implications behind the facts necessarily, but rather just the facts themselves. This is, of course, a tricky situation, but the facts are there to help me move forward, so this is where I have my hope for the future in this aspect.
Am I using my French language skills these days? Definitely not. Do I regret it? No. Why not? It's because I may still end up using this in the future and I need to remain in the hope that I may still get to use it in the future.
The Canadian Cat