“Sankofa” is the word they use to describe the learning that comes from revisiting the past. Sankofa is critical for moving into the future.
There are so many other examples of people using this wisdom, I think it must be hard wired into the universe. Just in our culture and country:
- Organizations look at their past as a part of strategic planning for the future;
- Therapists help clients review the past as a tool to help them live differently in the future;
- Athletes study film of past games in order to play differently in upcoming contests.
Is it possible to get stuck in the past, or dwell there in unhealthy ways? Sure. But it is equally possible to refuse to learn from the past, which is its own form of stupidity.
To a people who stood at the crossroads, God seemed to invite this kind of reflection:
Stand at the crossroads, and look and ask for the ancient paths where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)
Sometimes the best thing to do when you need to move forward is to look back.
Reflection Question: What part of your life could use a little “Sankofa?”
by Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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