(Read Time: 1 minute, 30 seconds)
Although made famous in our time by media theorist Marshall McLuhan, ‘Walking backwards into the future’ predates Mr. McLuhan by more than a few thousand years.
It’s the process (in artwork, writing and cultural practice) by which ancient Mesopotamians made the decisions that shaped their lives. This tradition was rooted in the belief that a firm and clear view of the past informed how best to prepare for the future.
Yet, in modern Western society, our culture dictates, and celebrates, running unabashedly away from the past to reinvent, push into new areas and strive for success in a crowded, competitive world.
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I think the Mesopotamians had it right.
Let’s stop and turn around
Let’s consider all aspects of our past experience
Let’s make more informed decisions
Let’s evaluate what worked
Let’s analyze what didn’t
Let’s be thoughtful and unemotional
Let’s not be afraid to live in this liminal state (an uncomfortable place) long enough to find the balance between what we like to do, what we don’t like to do, what we are good at and what we are not good at.
Let’s figure out what’s necessary to know, to learn and to do in order to be successful and move forward.
Let’s learn enough about our past to move confidently forward toward where we belong.
(Endnote: I would like to thank the organizers of the 2015 TEDxMet conference for a day filled with inspiration and ideas celebrating the In Between-and for the word ‘liminal’. Watch the presentations: TEDxMet videos)
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