“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” ~Willie Jolley
Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Chris Whipple, author of the new book The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency. The books shows that many of the former presidents made many of the same mistakes that the current administration is making and often with the exact same reasoning as past administrations. Whipple said, “Presidents learn many of the same lessons once they take office, and unfortunately almost all of them learn the hard way.”
This interview reminded me of Jolley’s quote. While we can’t live in the past, it is so important to learn from it. And that includes are own past as well as the past experiences of others. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to forge our own path; being armed with information about the paths of others can only help ease the way. This is why mentorship matters. This is why reflection matters. If we can learn from the past, we have a greater chance of building a brighter future.