"I can change where I'm going, but I can't change where I've been"
(Spoken by a Wabash Corectional Center inmate, IN)
I am sure that all of this have been through some form of real trauma or have committed acts that they are not proud of. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we are not perfect beings and, in addition, things are not pretty that are done to us, often by people with no conscience or a deficient conscience.
For our part, we may have gone through periods of life when our conscience was in a kind of haiatus condition. At those times, we may have hurt other significantly. If someone completely lacks a conscience, this little essay will have no meaning, and they are not likely to change.
The quote, above, I heard on MSNBC's lock-up. This African-American inmate has that insight, but it is too late for him to avoid incarceration. Another inmate had this to say:
"Some don't ponder the outcome of what they say or do, they just do it." This is where the development of "mindfulness" comes into play--an Eastern concept that has Western application.
Obviously, we can't change the past, but each day is truly a clean slate. If we are depressed, we can do certain things to relieve it or seek professional help. We can take action instead of just procrastinating. We can create something new, like a poem or essay or painting, or sing a new song. Creative work often the exert change on our concrete existence--if we let it.
If you listen to inmates closely, they can express a lot of wisdom. The problem they have had is in living it out.
I like to approach each day as new. If I choose to wallow in past mistakes, well, that's on me. But some may need profesisonal help to transcend the trauma that can result from grievous errors.