Overcoming Our Past for a Better Future

Overcoming Our Past for a Better Future

Canadian Shield, Mike Gagnon, 2021, Digital Mixed Media. Copyright M. Gagnon 2024.

Canadian Shield, Mike Gagnon, 2021, Digital Mixed Media. Copyright M. Gagnon 2024.


You know, it's a strange thing about life – no matter who we are or where we come from, we've all been hurt in some way. It's like a universal experience that ties us together, but at the same time, it can hold us back. The thing is, for us to grow as individuals and to move forward as a society, we need to figure out how to put these past hurts behind us.

Think about it: on a personal level, each one of us carries our own bag of hurts – emotional, physical, psychological – and they can leave some pretty deep scars. These scars can mess with our heads and hearts, leading to fear, mistrust, and a bunch of other negative stuff. For example, if someone's been betrayed, they might find it super hard to trust anyone again. Or if someone's been physically hurt, that trauma can stay in their body, leading to anxiety and health problems. It's a common thread that links us – we're all vulnerable in our own ways.

But it's not just about us as individuals. Our communities and entire societies have collective hurts that can have huge impacts. History's full of these stories – conflicts, injustices, you name it – and they leave deep marks on societies. These past pains can keep the cycle of violence, discrimination, and inequality going because they're still affecting how things are today. Take the legacies of colonialism and slavery, or the impact of wars – these things have shaped and are still shaping the lives of millions.

So, what do we do about all this? Well, healing and moving forward is tough, but it's possible. On a personal level, it starts with facing up to our hurts and understanding how they're affecting us. This takes real guts and often the support of friends, family, or professionals. Talking openly, getting therapy, or just becoming more self-aware are steps in the right direction.

Societally, it's about working together to understand our history, make amends, and change things for the better. This means facing up to historical injustices and their effects on our lives today. We need spaces for honest conversations, where everyone's stories and experiences are valued. And it's about putting in place policies and actions that don't just fix the past, but also build a fairer and more just future. Think about the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa and Canada – they aimed to deal with the hurts of apartheid and the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples.

The thing to remember is that moving past our hurts isn't about forgetting or wiping the slate clean. It's more about learning from the past, growing beyond it, and using those lessons to create a better tomorrow. It's about turning our pain into something that drives growth, empathy, and understanding. When we do this, both as individuals and as a group, we start shaping a future that's not defined by our past hurts, but by our collective strength and resilience.

In short, getting over our past hurts is a tough journey but a crucial one. It needs guts, empathy, and a real commitment to growing and understanding each other. As we tackle this, both personally and as a society, we're clearing the path for a future that's kinder, fairer, and really gets what it means to be human. By healing and moving forward, we're not just breaking free from the past's pain – we're building a society powered by the wisdom we've gained from it.

Thanks for reading,


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