Sometimes, I guess, forgetting what’s behind us and trudging forward is a good thing. It’s in all the advice columns, and it comprises most of the messages in social media.
What’s past is past and what’s done is done. Keep moving forward, away from the rain and into the sun. Catchy little things like that. Of course, I just made that up. But you see how easy it is to say. And I guess it’s a good message to receive. After all, everything that’s ever going to happen to us still lies ahead.
It’s the stuff behind us, though, that haunts us; the stuff in our rear view that shades our own outlook on our future. Or maybe even how others will forever see us if they are privy to our past deeds.
But should we completely forget to look back there? Should we intentionally decide to ignore what’s behind us?
The dude who backed out in front of me today did just that. Luckily, I was looking forward while he wasn’t looking backward and there was no collision with his past into my future. In fact, there were at least two whole inches separating us. And he just kept going, never once hitting the brake.
Later, an arrogant dude in another parking lot just assumed that his present and future would be okay as long as the other guy in his great big truck was watching behind him as he was backing out. The walker was counting on it; had banked his very life on the idea that the driver would be looking backward while he himself plunged forward without ever slowing down, eyeballing the driver the whole time.
This particular gamble paid off. The truck stopped, thereby ensuring that the walker still had a future.
The walker cursed the driver for not stopping sooner.
I flashed back to my childhood and remembered being taught how to walk through a parking lot, almost hugging the bumpers of the parked cars, and always watching out for the ones that are about to move. I was told to stop and wait for the car to be out of the way before I proceeded. I must’ve been about four or five years old.
That walker today, at what must’ve been forty-something, had either never been taught that particular lesson or otherwise really was that arrogant.
My husband would have muttered something about fools being allowed to procreate had he been with me today to witness the potential disasters. My youngest daughter was with me, and might have had something to say, but she was too busy texting somebody from the passenger seat, oblivious to our surroundings and the dangers they presented.
She’s learning to drive. My mantra while she’s behind the wheel is mostly comprised of, “Watch out for the idiots, and be prepared because they’re everywhere.”
Well, I say everywhere. But today I think they were all congregated in one town, and I think I met them all.
So is there a moral to my story today? Probably, but I’m not sure I can paint that picture. I am just optimistic and sparkly enough to know that my future lies in front of me, and looking back does no good. After all, you can’t see where you’re going if you’re always looking in the wrong direction.
If backward is the direction you’re traveling, please watch out for the idiots who are boldly forging straight ahead and into your path. And please, especially, don’t be that person who doesn’t look where he’s going and forgets to watch out for the person who is already there.
Sometimes forward is in reverse, in which case the rear view mirror is a substantial part of the journey.
And sometimes, every once in a while, we just wish it would rain.