Don’t let hindsight hinder foresight
Hindsight refers to the lessons we learn from life; it emerges from our reflectiveness to evaluate what we did and what we could have done better. Hindsight protects us from repeating our mistakes. Foresight, in contrast, refers to the intelligence to understand which actions will lead to which consequences and to thereby choose our actions wisely. Hindsight interferes with foresight when instead of learning from the past, we start living in the past.
Suppose a person driving a car drives through a pothole and get severely jolted. If they pause and look back to see where exactly the pothole was and how they missed spotting it, they can avoid it in future. But if they keep looking back, glaring at the pothole and berating themselves for missing it, they won’t be able to drive ahead. Or if they keep driving while looking back, they will court danger, maybe even disaster.
While most of us would never be so foolish as to continuously look back while driving, we often do that during our life-journey. Sometimes, things go wrong and our actions make things worse.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.35) states that those who are habitually morose typify determination in the mode of ignorance. We become thus morose when we keep living in the past.
In driving, we can stop our car, but in life, we can’t stop the flow of time. Unfortunately however, our mind keeps going back to the past, replaying how we acted foolishly.
How can we avoid such self-defeating hindsight?
By internalizing bhakti wisdom. It helps us understand Krishna’s omni-benevolence and omniscience. He has the intention and the intelligence to bring out the best out of everything, even out of our mistakes.
Therefore, if with foresight developed by studying Gita wisdom, we try to serve him diligently, we can ensure that hindsight boosts our foresight.
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