“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, you have no idea where you are going.”
Yesterday I was driving out to meet a buddy - on a rare, synchronous day off - for a lazy dive in a cave system I know, but using an entrance I’ve never been to before. Listening to an interview with Terry Pratchett about the power of myth and folklore during which he said the above.
It echoed constantly in my head through the dive and beyond, to now. It’s my favorite thought of the week.
Seems a fractal variation on “those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it,” easily applied to any situation grand or small. To an individual. To a community. To a species. To a mundane situation. To a lifetime. To the rise and fall of an empire.
The thing I keep wondering about is which of those things is most important? Knowing where one comes from - historians, scrapbookers, psychotherapists Knowing where you are - Buddhists, cartographers, hikers Knowing where you’re going - architects, fund managers, daydreamers
I’m a live in the present kind of a person myself. Deep appreciation for the past. And I try not to pay too much attention to the future; too many variables making it all too uncertain, I’m gloomy by disposition, don’t have much sway, influence, or control beyond the walls of our little compound, and so far just following butterflies has landed me in a pretty good place so... you know...