By Naphtali Ukamwa (Da-sage)
“The tide that flows;
The ripples and waves of the ocean;
The rising and falling of the sun;
The salt that dissolve in water;
As nature perishes;
Life goes on.” ——Naphtali Ukamwa
David W. Hartman went blind at eight. His dream to become a medical doctor was almost thwarted by Temple University Medical school, when he was told that no blind man had ever completed medical school. In addition, there was no hope for any blind man in the future who will complete medical school. As if this was the real encouragement he needed, Mr. Hartman courageously faced the challenge of ‘reading’ medical books by having twenty-five complete medical textbooks recorded for him. At 27, Mr. Hartman became the first blind student to complete medical school.
This was a blind man who spent time making his destiny count. Yet there are also millions of men and women with two naked eyes but their mental eyes are blind. Hart did not blindfold his mental eyes (the ability to visualize and imagine). He only didn’t have physical eyes yet his mind’s eye was seeing. If you think you have seen a problem that is so overwhelming and makes you quit, people have faced that same challenge, even greater ones, but did not quit.
The past is what could have been – impossibility. The mindset of success is not fixed on what could have been. It is focusing on what can be – possibility.
Looking forward means stepping out of the shoes of the past. Living in the past does not give room for creating your own self, and a new future. It does not give you space enough to occupy where you can be the pacesetter. It constricts you only to an extreme confinement.
The past does not allow you the ability to develop the genius in you- it weighs the genius down with the guilt of the past, the mistakes of the present and the fear of the future.
We live in the most competitive world. We can’t afford to be imitating anybody. Those great men, mentors and trainers you want to be like have their weaknesses. Imitating them is chaining yourself to their achievement. To create a new future the old must be burnt.
The mentality of the past keeps one in the comfort zone where one reacts with fear to new circumstances. The defeat of the future is actually the inspiration of the past and the guilt of the moment. Many can’t step into the future because they are one leg in the past and another leg in the present. They fear the reality of the future and respect the “unfulfillment” of the past. Guilt also inspires them with the judgment that they will get it wrong just as they had done in the past. This makes people who live in their past confusion in themselves. They keep asking questions about the possibility of the future. This is an advice for such people: say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” [Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV]
There is no wisdom in looking backward – it is foolishness to do so and it is unprofitable. It is about time you cast off the mask of the old life and looked at the future with the disposition of old things are past-away-everything-has-become-new.
Naphtali Ukamwa is an avid crusader for sociopolitical egalitarianism and the perpetual pursuit of happiness for all. He is an author and a political commentator. His dominant drives are God, family, law/advocacy. A member of the class of “18, Naphtali is also the Principal Political Editor of the Blog.