Bear with us here, but we’re starting this week’s topic discussion with a quote attributed to legendary former NFL football coach Mike Ditka.
I don’t believe in living in the past. Living in the past is for cowards. If you live in the past you die in the past.
This sentiment squares with what seems to be the generally negative idea that it’s bad, or maybe naive, to live in the past. In fact, if you do a Google search for the phrase, what you come up with is a bunch of lists largely comprised of quotes pointing out all the reasons why we shouldn’t live in the past. Like this:
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
Or maybe this:
Maybe the past is like an anchor holdong us back. Maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.
Then there’s this:
The longer you live in the past, the less future you have to enjoy.
I think you get the idea. Yet is this a fair take? Is living in the past really so bad? Why do we so often hear someone say to us “Quit living in the past,” when we point out that maybe things might have been a little better back then? Is living in the past, whatever we think that means, really about refusing to wrestle with a difficult present? In fact, if you take the advice of 1970s prog rock band Jethro Tull, perhaps living in the past is a way to find refuge from today’s turmoils.
Join us for the conversation this Tuesday evening as we try to sort it all out. The discussion begins at 7pm at 313 Pizza Bar in downtown Lake Orion.