‘Future’ by Ahmed Carter (unsplash.com)
Thought for the Week
You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye
~“Teach Your Children” (Graham Nash)
It’s planning time. Remember back at the start of 2020 when a lot of pundits (including me) couldn’t resist using the term “2020 vision” in their predictions for the coming year?
Ah, well, so much for “the best laid plans of mice and men.”
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our plans for what we’ll do in the coming year, much less our entire lives, no matter how well-thought-out, can never be certain. So, did 2020 teach us not to make plans? Of course not. But it did remind us to include if/then contingencies in our plans, and even so to brace ourselves for the unforeseeable (worldwide pandemic, anyone?).
But there is one thing we can plan with certainty:
Who we will be. Because the key to this kind of planning lies not in knowing what will happen, but in how we’ll respond. What values and truths will we live by? Will they be so inseparable from our character that they inform all of our actions and choices no matter what happens? Will we live out those values in the midst of unforeseen tragedies? Or windfalls? (More people’s values collapse during the latter than the former.) And so what? Why is it important?
It’s important because ultimately (and “ultimately” will happen—we can plan on it), it won’t be what we did that mattered…
But who we were.