We are not prisoners of our past……

Barak Obama painted in Williamsburg, BrooklynBarak Obama said this:

“What we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to what we got wrong in the past”

I think he’s right on this. That doesn’t mean that we therefore ignore the past, or don’t deal with it, or allow it to be healed, or learn from it, or carry the scars of it; in fact, one of my favourite sayings comes from a chap called Johnny Barr who said “you’ve got to deal with the root and not the fruit.” Sometimes we find ourselves, both individually and corporately – in our communities and wider societies¬†– still showing the effects of an un-dealt with past. But my problem is when we say to ourselves, or of our communities and nations “things won’t change, it’s just the way I am/we are/things are,” or ¬†“I/we can’t get over that,” or “I/we can’t move forward until….,” or “I wish we could go back to the time when……” and we wistfully look back to some better day when things seemed more sedate or manageable or whatever. Continue reading