Deep Thoughts: The Weight of the Past

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I recently came upon an interesting article from the NY Times, written by Todd May, “about the unbalanced trajectory of human life.”

It’s much to long to paste below (do go read it in its entirety!), but a certain paragraph has stuck with me…

This is not to say that nostalgia is our inescapable fate. The lesson I am trying to draw from reflecting on the examples of Snowden and the N.F.L. is not that the thrill ends early. Rather, in their extremity these examples bring out something else. For most of us, as our lives unfold we simply do not, we cannot, know whether we have peaked in an area of our lives — or in our lives themselves — in ways that are most important to us. The past weighs upon us, not because it must cancel the future, but because it is of uncertain heft.

Would you rather have peaked already, or be waiting to peak, or be uncaring about whether or not you have peaked, or will (or will never) peak?


2 responses to “Deep Thoughts: The Weight of the Past

  1. Hard question. I think the not knowing whether I have peaked allows me some hope. I think also what influences my opinion is the wonder and awe I feel when reflecting on the surprises of my life. The “wow had I known” feeling that overwhelms me sometimes. For instance, I live across the street in Israel from one of my childhood best friends. Our kids are classmates, playmates. We lost touch for almost a decade in between college and marriage, so it’s not like we have always been so close and it was certain we would be neighbors in a foreign country. This has happened a few times … and while it’s not related to my peaking or not peaking it does indicate to me how little we know or are aware of what may be.

    • Hi Jen! I love that – the “wow had I known” feeling…it’s always so humbling to look back with awe at how things have worked out sometimes! So much better not to really know how things will be (or whether the best is yet to come or not)…

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