The Potential of the Present

Nostalgia is a lie we tell ourselves about how great things once were, to excuse us from making things better than they are.

We cannot relive the past because the people, places, and experiences we remember no longer exist in the way that we remember them and can never exist in that way again. Of course, we should cherish our fond memories, for they have shaped who we are today. More importantly, however, we should focus our attention to creating new memories, not on trying to relive old ones.

Nothing is the same as we remember it. We are not even the same people who are doing the remembering. For this reason, nostalgia is more of a wishful fantasy than a fact.

The past leaves an imprint on our souls, but it is only some small part of who we are. We are different because of it and everything or everyone we come into contact with is different because of us, but there is more to life than this. There is more potential in a single moment of the present than there is in all of the past combined.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Artwork by Ana, except where otherwise noted

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