The Lingering Past, Internal Army, and Implausible Future

To me, the past feels like the lingering kiss of someone who’s far gone from your life. To me, the past isn’t something you can change, you should want to change, or anything you should look back to all. There’s no reason at all to go back because what’s forward is more important—and more importantly, what’s forward and what is most important to you. Some people sit for so long, quietly, hands clasped on top of a desk, patiently waiting for someone to instruct them on the Do’s and Don’ts of their life. The choices that they should be making themselves are being made for them, though despite the fact that we learn from society and the world around us is what affects us, we also change society—more than we ever realize. We don’t realize this, but we are the growing face of this planet. We are the fertilizer and we are the seeds and we are the water and we are the sunshine. We can cause this nation, this planet, to rise, or to fall. But just like any wave that happens in the ocean, the natural balance of the world will surely cause every rise and fall to ripple outward, to wash ashore, to drag onward and outward…We can change so much. So…why don’t we?

To begin with, I can clearly see an undying reluctance in youth when it comes to talking about the things that matter. These days, it’s all about sports and movies and test scores. And, ultimately, the world has become a mix of striving for something “better” by spending your entire youth fretting over numbers on a computer that don’t at all indicate your true intelligence—with small moments of release doing mindless activities, wasting hours and hours on social media not to do good or make a change, but to take the precious space so generously given to you as a blessing with the gift of life, and to just…throw it away.

You are worth so much more than the sum of your individual parts. Your mind, your values, your ideas are so huge, so grand, and they lay untouched in a dusty corner of your mind, never to be seen. Does anyone even know who the next person to change the way the world works can even be? It might be you or the person sitting behind your class. It might be your neighbor or your baby nephew. Do you even know what the human mind is capable of?

Adults spend a large proportion of teenagers’ youth treating them like children—come home at this time, study, study, study. No, you’re too young to do this and too naïve to do that. Which, in many cases, is valid, because parents just want to protect their children and it makes sense, but then the moment a person turns 17, they’re suddenly expected to make some of biggest decisions in their lifetime, on what college they want to go to, on what subject area they want to major in, on completing the ACT or SAT multiple times, on getting minimum wage jobs and entering into student loans and applying for scholarships. Along with the pressures of being growing people, we were never really trained to deal with that kind of pressure, and we become so self-righteous, thinking that it’s our time to prove to society that we truly are capable of more than we may seem we are. We overwork, over think, and tire ourselves from the constant stresses of worrying about our, capital-letters-intended, The Future. This ominous “The Future” that has been looming over our shoulders, haunting us since Day 1 of our existence, is what ultimately will be our downfall. Not in what it may be, but before it even approaches us or us to it, we slip and fall and lose our way.

We think that just because society agrees on something, we agree, too.

We think that just because the majority of the adults in our lives are telling us to go a certain way, that is the way we want to go.

We think, but we don’t truly know. Because we’ve spent all this time worried about outer necessities, like proving to our “superiors” how capable we are, that we’ve forgotten how capable we really are.

So yes, to me, the past feels like a lingering kiss. Something we’ve experienced, something we should just forget about at some point in our lives, because what happened once and what was once taught to us are just more words and unremembered memories thrown to the wind. Sometimes all it takes is an idea, the knowledge that We Are Capable, and the right about of energy. We need to know that we are pursuing for our The Future is for us and more importantly, for the world. One day, we’re going to be dead. We, just like all the millions of other people who are decaying underneath the ground, will be gone. We were here and then we weren’t. Eventually, everyone you knew will also be dead. From friends to family to acquaintances to teachers to random people at the grocery store, we’ll all be under the ground and most of our legacies…Or whatever our “legacy” is equated to, will also die.  Most of us won’t even be remembered, because we spent our lives regretting the past and worrying about the future without thinking about what we’re even doing in the present.

It’s a back and forth, a constant push and pull. Do you want to be forgotten? What will you take with you? What will you give to the world before you die? What matters? Who notices? Why do we do anything on this damned planet to begin with?
School teaches us that if we can find a plausible answer, we’re doing something right.

But some questions don’t have answers. They just have the ability to push you past your superficial capabilities into the complex, amazing person you are. Those are the questions that matter. So, instead of thinking about our past and what we did wrong and our future and what we need to do to “succeed”, succeed now.

Ask yourself the questions that matter. And don’t stick your head in a textbook to find them. Get up, go out into the world, and make those questions the light that guides you through something bigger than the whole of your being. You can lead an army to victory if you know what the army is capable of.

What’s your army capable of?

Tell the Truth

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