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The future is all we have


The one subject I never enjoyed at school was History. To memorise all those names and dates was certainly not my favourite pastime, to put is euphemistically. I therefore quit the subject at the earliest possible opportunity, only to find myself in History class for another two years as a student at Teacher’s College.

But that was not the end of my misery. Some years later I studied Economics at the university and to my surprise, economic history was part of the curriculum. To be honest to memorise those very long answers almost got the better of me.

New perspective

But some years down the line a certain turn of events made me look at History with a different perspective.

Perhaps it was because I did not have to study it for an exam, but perhaps rather the fact that I needed the information for a lecture which formed part of a course I developed.

The course was for business people about the significant changes that rapid technological advances brought to the way we do business; a.k.a. the “Information Revolution.” The specific lecture was called “Lessons from History” where I compared changes in the workplace and the world at large between the Industrial Revolution (±200 years ago) and the present Information Revolution.

So what did I do? I searched out my textbook on economic history and was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the subject matter turned out to be. In the past couple of years I had the privilege to see my forecast in that lecture unfold before my eyes.

Recently I read another book about a certain aspect of South African history and it helped me understand certain things I never really understood before. Unfortunately it also made me aware of how much of present day news events are a recurrence of things that happened before. Is it really necessary that the mistakes of the past be repeated?

# I believe there are two important aspects concerning the past that should guide us toward the future.


The first is that we must learn from the mistakes of our fathers so as not to make them as well. That is why we teach our children to do certain things and to avoid others. We do not want them to make the same mistakes we did and we try to guide them in what will help them prosper. Therefore studying History can be a benefit if we will apply the lessons learned. We do not need to re-invent the wheel.

Move ahead

The second is the fact that we can never turn back the clock. We all made mistakes and nobody is perfect. Even with the best will we cannot undo what happened in the past.

There is only one way and that is forward.

That is why it is so important that we should live with direction and that direction can only be toward the future.

To really embrace the future we need to cut our ties with the bad things of the past; we need to forgive those who wronged us; as well as ourselves, which is often the most difficult part. In Phil 3:13 the apostle Paul is doing just that when he says “… the one thing I do, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.”

We need to be builders. A builder works towards the completion of a project. Every day they move a step closer to the finished product. When farmers sow they look forward to bringing in a harvest. Jesus said, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.” (Luk 9:62)

To stay alive one needs to have a positive vision of the future. Let us “… do our best to reach what is ahead” as Paul did.

To know and understand yourself is necessary to best determine the way forward for yourself (or your son / daughter / spouse / employees). A Career Direct Assessment will help you to know and understand your authentic self. I can assure you, it makes all the difference.



1 thought on “The future is all we have

  1. A good directive for wise living – how to deal with / use history and move forward.

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