When I look back into my past, I see some of the battlefields in my life. Like any sailor or soldier, I see bodies, strewn about. Many have been wounded or maimed by things that I’ve said or done. Many times things were done in jest or jokingly, but they’ve been wounded nonetheless. I’m sure that they carry scars that were never intended to be. In retrospect, I can see a few, but I am sure the body count is much higher. I can even recall a note passed to me, asked to hold it, and not to read it. The guy accidentally took an overdose of drugs that didn’t kill him. When he recovered, he asked me to destroy it. I did without reading it. A promise kept, but later he committed suicide. If I would have seen it as a cry for help and read the letter, he might be alive today.
That is but one of the ghosts that haunt my past and move through my mind’s battlegrounds. Too often we ignore the past and march steadfastly on, not caring about what is still left uncared for, not mindful of the havoc we’ve wrought. Too often apologies were never uttered. Too often we have become numb to things of the past.
I am not saying we should live in the past, dwell on things we cannot change, but I am saying if we can judge the present and future by examining the mistakes of the past, perhaps our battles will be fewer and less littered with regret.