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Apr
23
2010

Hindsight

They say that hindsight is 20/20. I guess they mean that once you know what the outcome is, you can look back and see clearly all the things that you should have done differently.  But isn’t hindsight really more like 60/40?  If you knew then what you know now, wouldn’t you make different choices?  Wouldn’t you stack the deck for yourself and give yourself at least a 60% chance of having a different outcome?  Would you do even more than that?  Wouldn’t you do everything you could to give yourself the best possible chances, so that years from now you wouldn’t have to say, “well, hindsight is 20/20?”

Do the same rules apply for foresight?  If you were told today that something could be a reality for you in the future, would you do everything you could to prevent it from happening, or would you say, “what will be, will be,” and let fate takes it’s course?  Do we really make our own future or is the future just fate regardless of our actions?

Such difficult questions to ponder at 8 am, but on my mind nonetheless.

If I apply these questions to my writing, I need to consider how I want my characters to act.  See, I already know their future.  Do I let them act recklessly?  Do I make them walk the straight and narrow?  In the end, their fate is already decided by me, only their pathway to that fate is up for discussion.  When it comes to my characters, I have the unusual gift of having both foresight and hindsight.  It’s kinda nice!

Real life is different.  I have no magical crystal ball to tell me the future.  The best I can do is use the foresight we been given and hope that we make the right decisions now, so that in ten years we’re not looking back in hindsight and wondering what we could have done different.  It’s a tricky way to live a life; always looking ahead and worrying about wether or not you’re doing enough to change the future you’ve been told could happen.  I guess the real magic is trying to find some middle ground.  To use the foresight you’ve been gifted, because it is a gift, and still live your life enjoying each moment, because every moment is a gift too.

For now, we choose to be thankful for the gift of foresight that we’ve been given.  We choose to walk the proactive path, so that we can stack the deck in our favor.  Our hope is that we will walk this path for a very long, long time.  Another 50 or 60 years sounds really great right now.  Preferably, we’ll be holding hands and enjoying every little step and moment along the way.  And hopefully, hindsight will instead become reflection on our lives well lived.

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Heather

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