The song I am listening to now while writing it: I Can Fly by Lamb
There are three states in which you can be. Past, presence and future.
You will often have read the phrase that arose from Asian philosophy and suggests to live in the moment, to be present now and to internalize all of what you think and feel. I am the last person on earth to argue with that. The sole I want to add is that there is no presence without past and future.
I, for my part, love to swim around in my memories of the past and my past memories of the future. Now, what do I mean by that. Everything I am today is what happened to me so far. All the good and all the less good aspects of my life and myself are the result of past actions and thoughts. The activities I went for, the people I interacted with, all of it helped me become the Max that is sitting at 7.11 pm in Berlin and is writing this post. I try not only to memorize the good from my past but also the things that happened which were bad. Everything bad has at least one part which, if you are strong enough to see it, is good. It requires a strong will and a good package of creativity to transform a bad memory into at least an experience you dont wanna miss for it should remember you not to act like this ever again. Already that conclusion is worth not deleting bad memories from your past. Remembering those will make you in any way a richer person.
I disagree with people when they say things like “his/her past isnt important for me, everyone makes mistakes” (a friend of mine referred to a girl he wanted to date about whom I knew was not a good person). I can deal with people’s mistakes, there are no perfect people. What for me is important are the reasons and motives why people act like they do. Recently after going out I ended up talking in a late night diner to a prostitute. Years ago she took her children from an abusive husband and fled from Romania to Germany. After endless bureaucratic obstacles she gave up trying to have “a normal” life and decided to become who she is now. Sitting next to her I did not feel in anyway disgusted or the need to go away. I respected her for her ability to do what she thought was necessary to continue her life and the lives of her children. Although I wished for her another life…So, the past is important and it requires almost inhuman efforts to become anything else than what past will dictate for you.
Your past makes you who you are today, the thoughts about your future ,however, will decide over your very next step in life. We all move through time hoping for something (hence picturing future in a better light). There is no person on earth who would act the same way they usually do solely being in the presence if they were told the earth would go under in 24h. You wouldnt go to school, work or undergo other to-dos of your daily life. Most likely you would try to spend the last moments with the ones you love most.
The idea of “I am the human being right now right here” is a nice fortune cookie text but there is no sole status quo of a person and his/her personality. Every present moment is controlled by the past and the future.