For many, the past is both personified and immortalized. It becomes special – a demon that haunts us or a jailer that imprisons us, not only temporarily, but for an eternity. We return to it, obsessed over it, and visit it almost incessantly.
Fortunately, our past is not our enemy nor is it our coveted friend. And with that, it should not be feared, but rather faced through our commitment to move beyond it. Therefore, our past should not be missed, sought after, or clung to. The past does not require our loyalty. As a matter of fact, it is our duty to betray it, remembering that while the past doesn’t change, we must.
Our past is not history. It has no permanence nor does it have any shared responsibility. It is merely a moment or segment in time, our time. Unlike history, we do not have to embrace an incident in our past as a turning point for humanity or even our lives, but simply a lesson and a test to make us better individually.
For others, however, the past is still seen as an insurmountable obstacle, a burden, or a debt that can never be satisfied, but it can and should be, through our forgiveness, and only we have the power to grant.
Ultimately, our past makes us alone accountable and forgiveness offers us freedom. It breaks the chains and tethers of our past and ushers us forward.
And while the past should not be forgotten, it also should not be revered either, especially since it is in our present, where we are truly saved or doomed.
2016 © Eric Christopher Webb
The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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