Presentism - Judging yesterday through today's lens.
As my husband and I were on the tour bus taking us from Glasgow, Scotland to the Isle of Mull, a woman made a rather harsh statement to the tour guide. "The Scottish Vikings were a rough group of people. They raped, pillaged, burned, and ran rampant through Scotland. Horrible people." And the tour guide, in a calm and confident voice replied, "We cannot judge yesterday with today's standard. I cannot be in their minds or the minds of my ancestors. I can only hope that today is different, learn from the past, and move forward."
I wanted to applaud!
I've thought of this conversation over and over again whenever I want to be harsh on yesterday and glorify today, or vice-versa. Particularly when it comes to cancer.
Before cancer I was . . . , post-cancer I am . . .
Before cancer I had . . . , while after cancer my life has been . . .
Before cancer I wasn't . . . , yet after cancer I have . . .
And you can fill in these blanks, because I would imagine I'm not the only one who judges the cancer-free past through rose colored glasses and today through hyper-focused sharp-shooting too clear glasses (and if your cancer-free world was nothing but beauty, I'll buy you a Diet Pepsi).
And yet - today is good! And today is harsh. And today is filled with beauty, even amongst the scars, the numbness, the thinning (and thickening), the pains, the tingling, the unevenness, and the triggers that show that cancer is never far from our thoughts.
Acknowledge the past and move forward. And remember that when looking at yesterday , we look at it through our today. Who can judge?
Have a great week; take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself.
Great Tour Guide -