Past and Further Past

A FB and insurance industry friend of mine several weeks ago posted a quote from Petteri Tarkkonen that read: “Don’t judge me by my past. I don’t live there anymore.”

“Judge” is a verb meaning to form an opinion or a conclusion about anything. You decide, or conclude, or consider, deem, deduce, surmise, believe, or maybe view – among many synonyms linking to “judge.” These usually involve past events, happenings, actions, and so forth.

To judge something in the present still involves the immediate past in most cases.

To judge in the future, you are predicting, portending, anticipating, promising, warning, or something like that. To judge in the future is not really judging so much as anticipating in some fashion, perhaps, and offering an opinion on things to come.

There is a fine line between past and future when you discuss the “present.” That may be impossible from a strict definition point of view. What is happening right now, in the present, may be, in fact, “present” from the standpoint of a series of events, a season, an event over several days, and that kind of thing, whereas an isolated event or action has to be performed presently, but then is in the past immediately.

A person definitely has “moved on” when they create the past and definitely do not “live there” anymore. It’s done. However, past actions – especially those repeated – form a belief about what the future may hold for that person and, undeniably, creates a record of events and actions that can be assessed or judged. While true that the past may not define the future, unfortunately, the past may be the only record on which one anticipates future actions.

People can change and many times do or will if still in the process of deciding or starting an action. That welcomes the point that the prior history has been or will be replaced by a more recent history. Once replaced, then we’re talking about life in the more distant past versus the more recent past. The current opinion or life, then, represents only the present thinking, actions, position, and such. The future is yet to be decided. So long as the near-past continues to be true and is different from a more distant past, then, yes, you don’t “live” the more distant past now.

As a society and in many cultures, there is no “re-do” allowed relative to certain actions. That means there is ongoing judgment of that past – distant past, perhaps – even though the more recent past and current – and perhaps the future – is different. So, those cultural or legal or otherwise defined mores, laws, or whatever do not permit a total disregard for those distant past actions – and you are, then, judged by that distant past where you may not live today.

So, in some respects, we should move on and accept the new person one has become, shedding the distant past for whatever the change is more recently. And in other respects, we do not. The truth is that maybe more often than we do, we should accept change and judge accordingly. Maybe this is too deep to determine which things deserve reconsideration and which do not and we leave the discussion where it is – or was a moment ago.