Hind|sight [ˈhʌɪn(d)sʌɪt]: ‘Understanding an event or situation only after it happened or developed’.
That thing that probes you to grit your teeth, scrunch up your hand in a tight ball, threatening to stop the blood circulation whilst the realisation of the wisdom behind the sequence of certain events dawn on you… at which point, it is WAY too late to actually do anything about it. If you feel your blood slowly boiling as you read this, then you definitely know what I’m talking about. Cheeky little thing, isn’t it? Though I must admit, it is rather ingenious.
Let’s put our emotions to one side and objectively have a look at this strange, quirky thing named ‘Hindsight’. You may actually be more familiar with hindsight than you may have first thought. A sibling of insight and a close cousin of perspective, hindsight likes to take a backseat in life, allowing you to go through the motions of life, experiencing different events and situations to which you react in a certain way. You may act on impulse; perhaps you may act in a specific way without consciously realising it, oblivious to your flaws, weaknesses, and strengths. Hindsight is observing you all the time, at a safe distance. He sees that which you do not, focusing on the minute details of every aspect of your personality, character, actions, down to your innermost thoughts. For it is those aspects which we, as creatures of habit, may slowly begin to lose sight of whilst we walk along this pathway called ‘life’.
Enough about Hindsight, let’s talk about YOU for a quick moment. Ever had that feeling when you wake up and think ‘Urghhhh, here we go again! Guaranteed this day will be another disappointment’? You know, that nagging voice in your head that you try to suppress, constantly resurfacing every now and then to whine and whinge about why your life is ever-so-difficult, listing every single problem that you may be undergoing? Or maybe, it whispers to you about everything that could possibly go wrong – the endless possibilities that would undoubtedly lead to your complete failure, which would obviously mean that you’ll lose everything you have ever loved or owned, ending up on the streets, facing the harsh, bitter cold of many dark winter nights, with nothing but the roaring wind around you for company as you roam the streets looking for decent shelter, or else Lord knows what you… Oh. Whoops. ‘The Voice’ strikes again. You get the idea. No one wants to be stuck in that vicious cycle of wondering where we went wrong and yet the reality is that we find ourselves not being able to pinpoint the EXACT reasons behind our desolation and despair.
Lucky for us, Hindsight is a creature of mercy, albeit a creature which tests our ability to retain our anger. You see, when you find yourself wallowing at the lowest points of the pit of self-pity and wonder at how a situation may have unfolded, Hindsight decides to step in and announce a monumental “Oh, by the way….”.
You stop in your tracks and realisation dawns on you, slowly but surely, just as the morning sun creeps up over the horizon, reviving a once dead land. As dramatic as that may sound to you and me, think about it for a second… Isn’t that what happens? For when Hindsight comes beside you to explain why something may have happened the way it did and the lessons you could deduce subsequently, you are then approached by Insight. The three of you delve into a deep conversation with one another as your vision becomes clearer and Perspective comes into your line of sight. And as the four of you come together as one, the fire ignited by The Voice is finally extinguished. The sequence of events that you once replayed over and over in your mind, weighing you down more and more each time, is relieved. At long last, you are content with what occurred. You are content with how you reacted and dealt with it. It wasn’t all that bad; in fact, it was a good learning experience which will, without a doubt in mind, allow you to take a huge step forward along a different road – a road of self-development. And while you may find yourself in the same dilemma once again (we are, after all, humans), know that you can count on Hindsight, Insight, and Perspective to lend a helping hand, or three, when you need them most.
In hindsight, I’m glad I wrote this piece. I found myself in the process.