Looking Forward to the Past

Recently, I was going through my high school yearbook, the Claymore, from my senior year (1989 to 1990), and I came across a rather unusual advertisement from Pioneer Trust Bank of Salem, Oregon. It was titled “Suddenly It’s 2001 A.D.,” and it made me think of September 11, perhaps naturally. But that is not the point of this article.

Here is the text as written in this advertisement:

It all happened so fast. You’ve finished your apprenticeship … maybe college … possibly military service or whatever chore you assigned yourself on graduation from high school.

While it doesn’t seem possible, in the year 2001 you’re creeping up on “middle age,” you’re 28 … or 29 … 30 … at best you’re in that neighborhood.

So, how’s it going? How’s the job? How’s the family? Everything going the way you felt certain it would back in ’90?

Impossible to answer? Yes … and maybe.

What you are today tells a great deal about what you will be tomorrow.

The failures of the corner-cutters and the goof-offs as well as the accomplishments and successes of the straight arrows … while not always … often tell us much about where they will be a decade or two hence.

It’s something to think on because 2001 is just moments … not milleniums [sic] away.

This struck me as rather poignant, looking back eight years to the date mentioned in this forward-looking document. Perhaps we should look to 2011 and ask the same questions. Or even better, look to 2010 and the 20-year anniversary of our graduation from high school. But it’s important that while we might look back with regret, we also look forward with hope and optimism, no matter how bad it gets. The power to control our lives resides within us. We need only take the reins.

In any case, it’s always worthwhile to take stock of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’d like to go. We are then far more likely to end up in the places we’d like to go.

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