Apr 19, 2010

What's Next?

In the television series, 'The West Wing', the fictional president always ended staff meetings with two words - "Whats next?"
It was his way of signaling that he was finished with the issue at hand and that he was ready to move on to other concerns.
The pressures and responsibilities of life and work in the White House demanded that he not delve on what was in the rear view mirror - he needed to keep his eyes ahead, moving forward to what was next.

In a sense, the apostle Paul had a similar perspective on life. He knew that he had not 'arrived' spiritually and that he had a long way to go in becoming like Christ. What could he do? He could either fixate on the past, with his failures and disappointments, struggles and disputes. Or he could learn from those things and move on to 'What's next?

Many people including me, are guilty of not moving on. We are obsessed with the rear view. We live comparing and fantasizing how things would have been if the past would have been different. Our good memories of our not so good past keeps us from achieving the futures that we are destined to.

I know, I have been a victim of that rear view vision more than once.

Our culture forces us to live by templates of people and situations.

Back in the days when I was a customer care representative, we were doctrined by the mantra 'Treat every call as your first call'. No matter what or how bad your previous call was, that new call is your fresh call. That customer in on the phone now, is a fresh customer, and he/she deserves your care and attention. You could have had a bad day, nasty experience or you might be just plain out angry, but you need to give that customer 100% of yourself'.
Freshers like me, would fist-bump the air in absolute enthusiasm. Treat every call as your first call? No problem.

Its only when we actually get a nasty drunk American on a Friday night speed dialing us screaming obscenities because he is not able to use his Internet, that we hit reality. You are suddenly facing the full fury of that disgruntled consumer. The next customer could be the sweetest grandma with the sweetest voice you've ever heard, but suddenly, your 'Awesome' and 'Have a nice day' is more labored and less cheerful.
Seasoned agents gradually learn to disassociate themselves from disgruntled customers and be upbeat with customers who are excited. They won't mind if a customer uses the choicest insults from the English language, because to them, you are their dart board of all that is keeping them from enjoying their life. But a heartfelt appreciation is always met with a lot of joy and pride.

We all go through that phase in our life, when unpleasant situations stun us.
How many of you, have tried loving a person, only to be rejected, just because that person was too stuck up on his/her ex? The ex would have moved on, but you are still in love? Maybe its love or maybe its just that we want to hang on to fragments of past life.

The song 'What if' sung by Kate Winslet comes to my mind.

What if he stayed with me?
What if we got married?
What if I didn't break up with him?
What if I wasn't impulsive?
What if I stood up for myself?

How many times have you yearned for a former lover even when you knew for sure that 'it's over'?
How many times have you blocked out that new girl/guy out of your life, just because you were still in love with your ex, who is never coming back?
How many times have you thought that all men/women are like your ex? And that you are going to end up with the same fate?

The culture today, propagated by media teaches us that if a guy falls in love with another girl anytime within 1 year of his breakup, that he is a philanderer.
But if a girl does so, then she was the hapless victim of the philanderer/circumstances.

We are quick to judge and rarely give the other our sincerest ear.
If God judged us by all that we did, I don't think we should ever stop praying. And I don't think all the prayers will even get you to the pearly gates.

We should learn to move ahead inspite of what we have gone through, what we might have been or who we have been with.
For those who have been rejected or rejected other people, I plead that we learn to accept the fact that people are different, situations are different and people move on, its just that we stand still.

Move on...
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