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RUTA MAVE: Yesterday is gone, tomorrow never comes, today is a gift because it’s the present

Wednesday 4 January 2023 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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RUTA MAVE: Yesterday is gone, tomorrow never comes, today is a gift because it’s the present
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

As children we make impressions of the world from how we saw it or interpreted it growing up. As adults we have the ability to make decisions about life different from what we experienced, writes Ruta Mave.

Einstein theory of time is that it is relative – that it is an illusion. The existence of time in a chronological order of past, present and future one after the other is not what his theory says. Instead, Einstein says time is not fundamentally real, our entire history of time exists all at the same time so your past and your future already exist just not where you are right now in this present.

Confusing? Well movies like Back to the Future tell us if we change our past, it will affect our future but which future because they all exist? The future of McFly as the successful writer is equally real as the browbeaten wimpy McFly. The book and movie of The Time Traveler’s Wife shows how the character travels back and forth between the past and future being in both dimensions as a younger or older version of himself. He interacts with his younger self-giving support and self-help without changing his future physical reality or destiny.

As the New Year approached, I looked at my future self and thought where do I want to be this time next year, what differences do I want to make if any at all to my current self? This is something most of us reflect on at this time of year. If we were given the chance to talk to our younger self, what advice or guidance would we give them to make our life easier, smoother or more prepared?

My father died Xmas morning, his funeral was New Year’s Eve Saturday morning in Auckland. I was booked to fly that afternoon. I attended the service before boarding a plane to Rarotonga. I landed back to the future of one hour ahead and also in the past – Friday the day before New Year’s Eve.

In a twist of time relativity, I left a time dimension where I buried my father and entered another where I awoke New Year’s Eve morning with no funeral to attend as it did not exist in this Rarotonga dimension. Call it avoidance or self-preservation, does it really matter to anyone else but me? He has no ties to land to succeed here, thanks to his nieces and nephew. Words of comfort at funerals say they are not gone; they are just in the next room watching over us. The thought he exists overseas as he did prior to Christmas is as real today as it can be tomorrow according to Einstein. Lives can coincide and contradict at the same time.

How do we live our lives? Wishing for a dream to come true or living in the past making it responsible for our future by not being in the here and now?

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow never comes, today is a gift because it’s the present.

If you ever have the chance to rewrite your history, would you take it? There are ways to readdress memories that haunt you. It may not change the physical reality but you can change the narrative and genre of what you believe you experienced from a horror to a drama. You can watch it as another self, one you can emotionally detract from. The history remains but the emotional baggage is released.

As children we make impressions of the world from how we saw it or interpreted it growing up. As adults we have the ability to make decisions about life different from what we experienced. We have heroes who overcame the worst of childhoods and became something better. 

Helen Keller was deaf, dumb and blind. She was abused beaten and living in a cage until someone who was equally abused but had chosen a different path helped Helen learn to read and write and become a great teacher.

People can change and learn to lead different lives from their upbringing and parents. If someone is beaten as a child does not mean they have to grow up and beat their child. 

Adults who have trouble adjusting to certain life situations can trace back to how they were treated as a child. It is a reality but it is not a life sentence, it doesn’t have to define us forever.

It’s not about creating a lie. It’s about creating a different point of time to remember – a parallel universe where the same people exist but relate differently from the memory, we remain stuck in.

You don’t have to cross the dateline to change perspectives.  You have to get on a different bus, sit in a different seat. Stress comes when you do the same thing every day but expect a different result.

The world does not owe you a better life, you owe the world to be a better person. Look at your goals and resolutions – choose to be amazing.