The turning of the year is a natural point from which to look back and reflect on what has passed, and to look forward to the future and what we hope and wish for. I used to think that understanding the past is vital before planning the future. The name of this blog is an example of that belief. I am less certain of that now. I still believe that understanding the past is important, however; I just don’t think it is as paramount as I used to. More about that below.
This is by way of introducing a set of statistics about this blog. I’m publishing it here mainly for my own purpose – because I’m sure to lose the link or forget how to navigate to it – rather than because I know my readers are eager for such info.
I use a WordPress plugin called Jetpack, and every year they provide me with a collection of statistics from the past year. Here’s the link to the 2014 report for this blog: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/5479647/2014/
I wrote earlier that I no longer believe that understanding the past is vital to help us decide where we want to go or what we want to do or be in the future. Just as important, if not more so, I now think, is being clear about what we really want. Where do I want to go? What do I want to see? What do I want to do? What kind of world or society do I want to live in? Because the past can also limit our vision of the future. We can become complacent and simply think of continuing in the future what we have done in the past.
Japan is a country with many long traditions (some are perhaps not as long as many believe or would like to believe – “bushido” being one example – but that is another matter). Tonight, millions of Japanese will visit a temple and ring the bell 108 times, and the next day visit a shrine, rubbing shoulders (and just about every other part of the body) with thousands of their fellow countrymen, packed together like Japanese in a New Year’s shrine,throw money in a box, buy some trinkets and go home. Why? Because it’s tradition. It has little to do with religion, as Mike Rogers pointed out in his hilarious piece on the Japanese KFChristmas. Just because that’s what people did last year and the year before that and the year before that.
But what was done in the past, however long the tradition may be, need not decide what we do in the future, unless we let it.
So, in 2015 what do you want to do, see, hear and feel? What kind of world do you want to live in?
1) “I would like the world to be such that children can grow up without losing their natural serenity. I would like this to become reality as soon as possible.” – Haruchika Noguchi.
2) (In Japanese only) – The Future Times or 未来新聞 (mirai shimbun) People post their visions of what the future will look like, complete with date.
3) The short video by Prem Rawat which prompted this blog entry: “No Need to Measure”