I like to think of myself as a good person. I try to be mindful of other people’s feelings and I try, both professionally and personally to always do the right thing. I have intervened when I have seen drug addicts harassing old men, I have stopped to check if people lying on the ground by the side of the road were ok when everybody else passed by.
Why is it then that this same person, is hit out of nowhere by hindsight? Years after I realize that I had been hurtful, immature and selfish in certain situations. Back then I was foolish and everything was a joke, even if it was at another person’s expense. I had a mean streak and never even knew it until ten years after.
Why did it come back to me and why did it come back to me at that time?
Where was this insight when I needed it? Where was the foresight or even the present sight when I needed it? I was a different person back then and I was not open to this insight. My hindsight changed over time as my personality changed.
What use is it to us if we can’t change what we have done? What use is it to us if it comes years after?
It is a teacher. Sometimes we are not ready for the lesson, sometimes we are not ready to listen or we cannot even hear. Then one day our eyes are open. The lesson was always there. I just couldn’t see it. Maybe in some cases we never will.
We change gradually in most cases as we are shaped and sculpted through the process of life. I am not the person I was ten years ago. That was a different time and that was a different George, shaped since then by so many things; immigration, marriage, death, loss, separation.
I have not grown wiser; I have just changed. I like to think that this change is for the better but that remains to be seen.
As I go through the next chapter of life I will continue to change and my perspective will adjust with me and with that hindsight may creep up on me again unexpectedly.
Taking a look at the opposite perspective, nostalgia is a form of hindsight.
These are the good old times, right now. Wherever you are, reading this, who are you with? What are your plans for the rest of the day and who will you spend that time with?
Don’t spoil it.
Be there and live it because hindsight will come back to you in years to come and question you. It will bring a longing or regret that you can catch, right here, right now.
You can be here now and stay here. Be present and be with whoever it is you are with, giving them your full undivided attention.
The past will always resurface over time but hopefully, by being present and thoughtful we can let it come back to us with good feelings.