The Past is Prologue

Prologues set the stage for a story, they don’t determine it. Having a glittering past does not guarantee a starry present or a brilliant future. In fact, many of Shakespeare’s tragedies follow the downfall of someone who had a lot going for them in the beginning but who made unwise choices in their present.

What’s past is prologue, what to come In yours and my discharge.  (The Tempest, Act II Scene I)

Many of the people I admire most do not have pristine or enviable prologues to their lives. They do however, have admirable presents in actions, if not in circumstances.  These daily actions are altering what is to come in their own lives and in the lives of those around them.

We are created to act rather than to be acted upon. I think we are ultimately happier when we are active participants in our lives, even when we make mistakes, than if we treat life as a spectator sport.

We do not have perfect control of our tomorrows anymore than we have perfect control of our todays, but a great deal of what is to come and how we will ultimately feel about it is within our grasp. I know that even when things have not turned out the way that I once hoped they would, I have been happier and at greater peace knowing that during what was my present, I gave my all and my best. That then becomes my prologue, with what to come still in my discharge.


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