From The Editor’s Desk

From The Editor's Desk

Rear-View Mirror Or Windshield?

Dear Readers,

How do you drive a car? Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel… and look into the huge windshield onto the road ahead, or do you look into that little rear-view mirror and keep sight only of the road already gone? Definitely a stupid question, isn’t it? Who, in their right minds, would want to look back while driving ahead!? It could cause accidents, hurt you, hurt your car, hurt those with you in the car that you’re driving in this ridiculous fashion. The rear-view mirror is only used on two occasions – when we wish to go back using the reverse gear, or when we quickly need to glance at the traffic behind, before we regain looking at the road ahead through the windshield.

Like most of you may have guessed, I am talking metaphorically here – how we choose to live our life is akin to how we drive our car. So many of us can’t stop looking back. We can’t forget, not that we don’t want to. And we can’t forgive, not that we haven’t tried. But just look where that’s getting us. So many of us are stuck in our past, unknowingly; unable to let memories be memories, unintentionally. We turn memories into futile grudges or empty hopes – living this beautifully blessed life in suspended animation mode – in the sorry state of wait or hate. We hang on to words, instances, events of the past. We pretend we are ‘moving on’ because we seem to be walking in the direction ahead, while our eyes, hearts and minds are firmly planted in those past experiences. And, we all know how that goes down, don’t we? Accidents. Damage. Hurt. Pain. And what’s worse, these new negative experiences only add to the already accumulating past-fodder, reinforcing the same self-destructive mechanism.

As individuals and especially as a community, we need to learn from this reality. We talk about progress and unity as the way forward, but we are unable to disallow the past from casting negative precedents in our hearts. We end up jinxing our own good intentions even before we’ve started the journey. We believe that the solution to the many issues that plague our community today lies in unity, but we forget that the very essence of unity is based on coming together ‘now’ and together moving ‘forward’. But, ‘now’ and ‘forward’ get martyred at the altar of the past. By no means am I saying that we must ignore the past, or pretend it didn’t exist. The past is of immense importance in our learning and growth. But it needs to be placed in perspective, it cannot be allowed to usurp the present and dictate the future. But there’s a reason the windshield is way larger than the rear-view mirror. Let’s use the rear-view mirror to only glance occasionally into the past, so we can resurface with learning, humility and gratitude. Let the windshield be our guide in our onward journey. Let’s look ahead as individuals and as a community committed to progress and unity.

In the words of the brilliant poet and philosopher, Maya Angelou, “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate – thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.”

Have a lovely weekend!

– Anahita

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