The future is what lies ahead of us. It is the only direction we can go. But what the future will become is not set in stone. It is what we do today that will affect the course we take in shaping the day of tomorrow. The past is what is done, and cannot be changed. But that does not mean that it isn’t valuable. The past is a resource we can rely upon for insight and information that will help us to create a brighter future.
If we look to the past, it allows us to discover what we like and what we don’t like. It gives opportunity to assess what we want for our own lives and what we prefer to avoid. In addition, history can tell us which actions lead to certain results, and in effect teach us which exercises we should eschew and which we must nurture to reach our desired destiny.
It is my feeling that our world today is not headed in a positive direction. Too much precedence is given to materialism and other things of a human nature, while we are forgetting about the natural environment that encapsulates us. We work hard for the accumulation of money and the ability to buy luxury items that temporarily soothe our personal needs, but in no way enhance our human existence. We pursue beauty to the extent that we change our appearance to become someone that other people will like, while we try to cover up who we in essence are. We not only try to control nature, we even attempt to change it.
Society has imposed values on us that stand in contradiction with our human nature, and instead of helping us for the better; it has created opportunity for new illnesses of a mental origin, with related side effects such as suicide and aversion to increase. We are made to believe in one approach, while we realize deep inside that this doesn’t stroke with our actual human convictions. This internal conflict is what makes us suffer, and what for some of us may prove to be ultimately fatal.
I look to the past, because to me it looks brighter than the future. I look to the past because I feel that as a human race we are headed in the wrong direction. I look to the past to learn from it what we can use to change course towards a brighter prospective.
To me, learning the rite of tea is an opportunity to re-learn our fundamental human values. It doesn’t only show us the fundamental beauty of things, regardless of whether items are seemingly perfect or imperfect, it also teaches us the way to appreciate and to be respectful of someone’s intentions, the course of an event, and what we have been presented with, before we make judgments about whether or not we like or dislike it.
We learn to take things as they come and to be grateful for exactly just that. We learn to respect people for who they are and not to be judgmental about their personality. And today, it are exactly those aspects of life that we struggle with most to maintain. In learning the art of tea, I wish to better understand the core of our human existence, and to become a better person myself. In the course of doing so, if my actions or beliefs may result to even inspire one person to do the same, I may never be able to fully repay my gratitude.