The conversation went long into the evening; two friends relaxing in the warmth of a tropical evening. Their thoughts drifted forwards and back. It was an attempt to understand the past while exploring the future. As a participant, I find the conversation lingering, well after we have parted and gone our separate ways.
In looking backwards, there is natural tendency to ask “why”. Why was one person silent, if he knew about something? It is a hypothetical one that haunts me today. One could or should have shared one’s insights. It is easy to ask the question, however I find the answer much harder to understand. My observations, starting with myself, include the following.
Much of the time, we are like terrier dogs. Once we “bite”, we are not letting go. There are reasons for our resolve. We believe in our position. We are passionate about the view. We see what others cannot and, as a result, do not think we can change course. We this is the case, two ways of describing this come to mind. First, “Insha’Allah”, God willing. Second, the reality that “we saw that we weren’t making even a dent in his resolve, and gave up. ‘It’s in God’s hands now,’ we said. ‘Master, you handle it.’” (Acts 21.14)
Additionally, even if we are willing to let go, we may not be able to hear Another’s voice. Our focus is somewhere else. Our priorities are consumed by anything but the subject at hand. Our vision is limited to our imagination.
Time tends to relieve the constraints of the past. I look back and see that there are very few “why” answers that stand the test of time. My values are richer for my experiences, so I begin to question my thinking. My perspective is altered by the outcomes, triggering an automation examination of the foundation for the decisions taken. My passion tempered by the awareness of how relationships changed.
The conversations on that evening set the stage for today. There is an opportunity to make a difference. It is uniquely here, now.