One afternoon granddaughter Serenity and I were watching Shark Boy and Lava Girl. As a grandfather, I didn’t want to watch the movie, I just wanted to spend time with her. One scene from the movie captured my attention. One of the sharks tells Shark Boy he should always move forward, never backwards. When I heard it, I jumped up and said, “That’s it!” Serenity had no idea why I was so excited. My excitement came from seeing a kid’s movie give children principles which they could use and understand. After doing some research, I found that a shark’s pectoral fins cannot bend upwards. This does not allow it to swim backwards like other fish. In essence, the shark’s design will not allow it to do certain things, such as moving backwards.
This concept reminded me of the eighth circle of Hell in Dante’s inferno. Virgil describes how the residents of this level punishment was to have their heads facing the rear and forced to walk backwards simply because they could not (or did not want to) see in front of them.
The children of Israel, in the book of Exodus, wanted to go back to slavery and oppression instead of moving ahead towards the Promised Land. Many complained and wanted to kill their leader, Moses. That attitude prevented many from entering the Promised Land and condemned them to death in the wilderness.
As stated earlier sharks are not designed to move backwards. Last I checked, we are not designed to move backwards. I know someone is saying, “I can move backwards with no problem”. I agree, however, if you spent most of your time moving backwards, your probability of success would be very slim. “What about looking back”?
It’s okay to reminisce. However, you must have a time limit. If we don’t have a time limit, we can get stuck in the “good ole days”. Truth be told, those days may not have been as glorious as we thought. On the other end of the spectrum, we can get stuck remembering the pain of the “not-so-good” day. The pain then becomes our badge of courage which we use to explain our shortcomings. Both good and not-so-good days are now history.
Years ago, I was going through a rough time in my life. I was complaining about things that happened and I could feel the pain as if it happened that day. When I finished moaning and groaning, my father swirled his tobacco in his mouth said, “…and when you finish all that, the sun still coming up tomorrow”. In other words, either you going to be stuck in the past or you’re going to get up and move forward. I decided that day, to get up and keep it movin’.