Wednesday, January 01, 2020

What Grandma Wants

We've all made it.

Now can we all do it?

2020: The Year of Hindsight.

I've been thinking about that over these last few days. How wonderful it would be to be able to look back over time and see the decisions I've made, the hurt I have caused and the joys that I experienced. How wonderful it would be to be able to see, with clarity, where I am on my journey through life. How this is an important opportunity, not for resolutions but for a double check on the state of my values. Have I lived according to what I believe? Have I acted in concert with my vision? Have my values been an anchor for me?

"Hindsight is 2020," is an expression I first heard from my grandmother as a child. I didn't really understand what 2020 meant, it was unusual for my grandmother to speak to me in riddles. She said it to comfort me as a child. She wanted me to know that I couldn't always determine the outcome of my actions and that when I did something that caused me hurt or embarrassment, I could always see the inevitable outcome afterwards and the decision I should have made became clear when looking back.

I did come to understand the meaning of the phrase. It wasn't a riddle at all. It was a challenge to look back and see how I got to where I was. It was a challenge that I didn't take up all too often. Such clarity hurts and erases plausible deniability. Yes, I did what I did. Yes, where I am is a result of where I came from, decisions made in the past.

I work with people who are vulnerable to the every-day casual assumption that others know best how they ought to live their lives. People who are served by people who need, desperately, to look back, to review how they've used their power, people who need to course correct regularly.

I am surrounded by people who need the best of me. At work, at home and in the world. I need to ensure that's what they get. Am I the best of me, have I compromised my self for the expediency of acceptance as such is expected by the different?

I don't know.

But, I'm gonna look.

It's what Grandma would have wanted.