Before, Now and Next

The Best Way to Change the Future is to Understand History

Gary Ryan Blair
May 24 · 6 min read

“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” — John Adams

Humanity is a partnership between the dead, the living and the unborn.

It is our collective responsibility to preserve posterity and to fulfill our duty to this partnership because in the end, everything we do…should be done for the sake of posterity.

Posterity is the chronicle of the length and breadth of humankind’s activities, the manuscript of the memory of life itself.

Every citizen, regardless of race, religion, or gender, must know the history, the posterity of the land to which they pledge allegiance.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are historically illiterate which results in a sorry ignorance of our great past.

Sir Boyle Roche asked a now famous question that may very well be on your mind…, “Why should we put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity, for what has posterity ever done for us?”

Quite a lot, actually.

Posterity gave us the automobile, telephone, television, electricity, music, medicine, bell bottom jeans, high heels and disco. It gave us the Internet, a stable platform to connect, to invent, to produce and to share.

We were born into a culture that took generations to create. The people who came before us built a civil society, invented a language, created a surplus, solved difficult problems enabling us to each grow up with an astonishing amount of creature comforts.

Posterity is all we have to make sense of the present. It’s important to know that the world did not begin the moment we arrived. We have a past, and posterity by informing us of the past helps us to judge the present and future.

Posterity exists in all of our lives and we each make posterity through our choices, actions and relationships.

In the end, consciously or unconsciously…everything is done for the sake of posterity.

Knowledge of posterity extends our vision, enlarges our mind and imagination and expands the range of our thinking.

Posterity is a wise teacher providing many lessons:

Humility

Posterity creates a sense of humility as any success or achievement we enjoy is built on the achievement of others. We are someone else’s posterity. Each of us is here, and is able to do what we do, because others did something for the sake of posterity.

Each generation advances and builds on the discoveries of the previous generation.

All success stands squarely on the shoulders of our forebears as their success makes ours possible. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.

Gratitude

Posterity creates a sense of gratitude as every freedom we enjoy came at the price of others.

It is only through posterity that we can truly appreciate the battles that our forebears fought, the ideals that they championed, the sacrifices they made, and the enduring effects of their accomplishments.

Posterity teaches us to be grateful for the failures, mistakes, and the inequities of our past as only when armed with this knowledge can we appreciate the hard won freedoms that are our birthright.

Perspective

Posterity creates a sense of perspective that helps us to recognize the ways that the past has authority over us.

Historical consciousness is an awareness of the past, of things we never experienced firsthand, and of one’s own connection to it.

It is cultivation of respect for what cannot be seen, for the invisible sources of meaning and authority in our lives–for the formative agents and foundational principles that, although no longer tangible, have made possible what is worthy in our own day.

Connectedness

Posterity creates a sense of connection that provides meaning for our daily living.

Understanding posterity is a matter of taking stock of the way we live, of what our pastimes and pleasures, holidays and traditions, families and marriages, habits and aspirations, all say about our connection to the past–and, therefore, about ourselves.

Historical consciousness draws us out of a narrow preoccupation with the present and with our “selves,” and ushers us into another, larger world–a public world that “cultures” us, in all senses of that word. Historical consciousness is, then, part of the cement that holds civilization together.

Awareness

“Dear past, I survived you. Dear present, I’m ready for you. Dear future, I’m coming for you.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo

Posterity creates a sense of awareness of good and bad, right and wrong, past successes and failures of leaders and their collective impact on our present time.

An awareness of posterity is an awareness of the problems, the triumphs, the solutions and the failures that mark our history.

Posterity allows us to understand the many forms of government and recurring themes in the human story. It provides an awareness of the premises, the limitations, the possibilities of our notion of progress, of a culture and civilization which sees the value of the past, understands the implications of economic and technological growth, the nature of human reason, its potential and limitations, and the intrinsic importance of life on this earth.

Through the study of posterity we gain an awareness of the factors that result in the rise and fall of nation-states or civilizations, motivations for political actions and the effects of social philosophies.

That kind of awareness is critical to understanding who and what we are because of our past, and where we are headed.

Intellectual Growth

Posterity extends human knowledge beyond what we can ever experience on our own.

It should be studied because it is an absolutely necessary enlargement of human experience, a way of getting out of the boundaries of one’s own life and culture and of seeing more of what human experience has been.

And it is the necessary, unique way of orienting the present moment, so that you know where you are and where we have come from. In fact, posterity is the only resource we have for doing so.

Role Models

Posterity is rich in men and women of character, nobility, courage, leadership and other divine virtues.

These people through example inspire us to be and do more with our lives, as the only clue to what man can do is what man has done.

The value of posterity, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is. Over the years we discover how much our paths and perspectives are shaped by people who have gone before.

Posterity is a grand mirror in which we are reflected and the virtues of great men and women serve as a sort of looking glass into which we may see how to adjust and create our own life.

Historical role models can have an enormous influence on those who study posterity, as they are very real individuals whose efforts and emotions once moved and still motivate people. They represent the passionate beating heart of history and posterity.

Continuity

Posterity creates a sense of continuity, which is critical in all human affairs.

We are heirs of the past. Those who came before us have shaped us and we will influence those who succeed us after we too descend into the deep of time.

Knowledge of posterity enlarges our human experience and increases our self-awareness by creating a link with those who have preceded us.

Without some understanding of our roots and our place in the flow of history, we cannot fully understand our own personal opinions, prejudices and emotional reactions.

Posterity is the foundation upon which every curriculum of learning stands. We must ensure that we teach posterity to our youth so that they in turn understand why they must continue, protect and safeguard liberty and justice.

We’ll end just as we began… all of humanity is a partnership between the dead, the living and the unborn.

It is our collective responsibility to preserve posterity and to fulfill our duty to this partnership because in the end, everything we do…should be done for the sake of posterity.

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P.S. Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets. The secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped people transform their lives faster than they could ever imagine possible. Want to see ‘em? Just go here and get the manifesto.

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

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Gary Ryan Blair

Written by

Growth Hacking Aficionado I 100DayChallenge.com I Gary@100DayChallenge.com I 877.462.5748

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Read short and uplifting articles here to help you shift your thought, so you can see real change in your life and health.

Gary Ryan Blair

Written by

Growth Hacking Aficionado I 100DayChallenge.com I Gary@100DayChallenge.com I 877.462.5748

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Read short and uplifting articles here to help you shift your thought, so you can see real change in your life and health.

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