Welcome the new

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jamie Danford
  • 94th Airlift Wing Chaplain's Office
As we move into the New Year, how do you handle the past? Is the past something that is forgotten like the old year, or does it hang around and dominate your future?

I have noticed recently that the topic for January is not only New Year’s resolutions, but the past in general. In listening to the topic I noticed a train of thought. The idea was a general perspective of “put the past behind you.” This idea states that with a new year upon us we are at a clean slate. We can write a new chapter this year and not be encumbered by the past.

There is a second and competing train of thought that is often shared by students of history. This thought is expressed in the quote from George Santayana, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” This idea holds that we must be students of history or we will commit the same mistakes.

How does this play out in our lives? Do I forget mistakes and repeat them, or do I wear them like a chain around my neck? Will my past be always before me?

The truth is found in the middle. Our past informs, but does not define our future. We are completely free to make choices and change our direction.

We remember successes and mistakes, but in a way that inform us of what road to take or not to take. We need to remember and learn from our history, but not be imprisoned. We are greater than the sum of our past.The future is clear before us, and we are free to walk the road.

May you be blessed in this coming year.