Hanzilah Siddiqui


Jeffrey Archer once wrote,

             “When the uncertain future becomes past, the past, in turn, becomes uncertain.”

The thought that drove him to write those lines was that our past has a lot to do with our future. Now I don’t believe many psychologists would differ with me when I say that every act by us, every piece of behaviour that we show is aroused by something that has been our past. For example, If a child has been watching cricket since birth why should he start football as an adult. Similarly, a survey reveals that a mother is likely to feed her child what she had been fed as a child as she has developed a taste for it and takes for granted that her child has also.

Now the question is that if our future is connected to our past and past we cannot control then is freewill intervened here? For a man can only control his present.

I like to think about this dilemma in an unorthodox way. I believe that Past and Future are nothing more than a facet of Present.

Their origins, if looked upon deeply are found in the realm of Present.

There is no doubt that we can’t change our past. What has been done can never be undone. For time travels only in one direction, forward. But what we can do for sure is make our past. Whatever we do in our present is passed in future. So in our present, we can make our past. Then obviously free will can’t be intervened when present is in our grasp and present itself is passed.

There is no denying that our past has a lot to do with our present. It tells us where we have been, what we were. It reminds us of our wrongs, wrongs that we then avoid in our present. But obviously, what is now our past was once our present, so we could have avoided what we now regret, had we known. But if past has everything to do with the present and nothing with future, then is Archer wrong???

Absolutely not! In fact, what we miss, most of the time, is that our present is itself our future. What we make or change in present will be our future. Decisions that we take today mould what we shall be tomorrow. Hence present it can create our past and future. And if we can control it then we can control our past and future also. Book of fate is not something that is written for us, It is something that we write ourselves. Can you control your present?

At this point, I remember what Wendell Berry once wrote and it is the perfect way to finish this essay,

            “The past is our definition. We may strive with good reason to escape it or to escape what is bad in it. But we will escape it only by adding something better to it. ‘


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