Recently, I was visiting with my five-year–old grandson Cole and his family. He is the second child in a family of four children and the only boy. Most of the time it is easy for him to live in the shadow of his three sisters. However, on this day, all of us were outside enjoying a balmy Arizona evening when I noticed Cole was no longer among us. I went inside the house to see what mischief he might conspire to get into.
Instead, I found him quietly sitting in a folding chair, and I asked him, “Hey little buddy, what are you doing?” Cole replied, “I am reflecting.” “Reflecting?” I asked while attempting not to let my surprise and amusement show.
“Yes, Gramma…Reflecting is thinking”. “What are you thinking about?”, I asked.
His reply was precious, “Mommy made a reflection chair. We must sit on it when we get in trouble. I have to sit for five minutes because I am five. When the alarm goes off, I have to talk to Mommy about it.” (By now, I am thinking my daughter-in-law is a genius on top of being a wonderful mom.)
“Oh, I see. What are you reflecting on now?” I said it with a serious tone.
“I was thinking about getting into trouble. Sometimes I can’t help it.”
We proceeded to talk a bit, and before long he let me know that he had talked about it enough and left me to sit and reflect on my own life lessons.
The first thing that came to me is the famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana said it. He was an early 20th–century philosopher and poet who focused his work on the birth and development of human reasoning. I am cherishing the idea of reading all five volumes of “The Life of Reason” when I retire. For now, I relish in his amazing life sentiments.
Though we are reminded regularly to stay in the present, we do ourselves a disservice by not reflecting on our past. There are very good reasons for studying history and remembering our past. Our history is our story. It is important to learn from the past, and it helps us to understand the present. We have the opportunity to learn from our ancestors and our history. Our history is connected, just like the threads in fabric — the tighter the weave, the stronger the cloth. When we learn from our past, we are cultivating a better future.
Think about it. Have a great week!
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