17 Jan Odu Reflection: The Past is Present!
I pray this day finds you well! As you regular readers know, I do a lot of reflecting on things and I’ve been particularly introspective lately. It seems that the more I look inward, the more the universe sends people to ask me the right questions – the “right” questions being those that allow me to look even deeper into myself. One question I’m often asked is: “Why do you study history? What are you going to do with that?” As I look within for the answer, my response is always, “Why don’t you study history? What are you going to do without it?”
One of the many, many things the Odù Ifá Ose Osa reminds us of is this: the past creates the present. Simple, elegant, and true. Everything that has happened up to now directly affects what is happening now and the less we know about what has happened before, the less control we have over what will happen today and moving forward. Our individual and collective choices of days past shape and inform our present and our future.
Does this mean we should all quit whatever path we’re on and become full-time historians? Not at all. What it does mean is that we should be cautious of how we tread, be mindful of what pages we write into our personal histories and be cognizant and respectful of all of those who paved the way so that we could be here, right now and able to create personal history.
Our egún (ancestors), our elders, our teachers, our parents – all those who came before us – let us learn their stories so that we might gain knowledge from their journeys in order to enhance our own. Ase!