Past Imperfect Tenses

The veneration of the past often generates a systemic problem in Afrikan communities writ large. We elevate tradition and memory often over forward progress. Many of our organizations still have constituent documents, leadership structures, marketing plans, and even actual leaders from the 60s and 70s who are simply not trained, qualified, or equipped to grapple with the new realities, technologies, and parameters of the battlefield of the present. Often tradition and memory act as obstacles and bulwarks against the change that will preserve these organizations. While the past is great and history is important it is NOT, in my estimation, a surrogate for actions in the present, consistent with the present environmental and empirical realities (which are not those of the 70s, the 80s, or even the 90s) or, for intelligent strategic and tactical planning for the future.

The past is for me like a great vacation. It is worth the time and cost and necessary periodically to go to that place, as it helps you refocus and comprehend and refresh for the present and to prepare for the future on the basis of having recouped your strength there. Yet, the one who overstays the sojourn runs the risk of losing the present AND the future. The worker cannot FOREVER be on vacation, lest they find themselves soon unemployed entirely and life itself inadvertently “vacated”.


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