I’ve never understood society’s obsession with moving forward.
At the start of this year I’ve seen many people expressing views about how it is ‘important to keep moving forward’. Have we ever stopped to think if we need to?
What is wrong with remaining where you are if that is what makes you happy and contented? If that is where you really feel you belong at the moment? But yet the infrastructure and culture of the world is tuned and designed to force people to barrel forward even if they do not want to.
The pandemic represented, in a backhanded way, the perfect opportunity for us to pause and reflect on where we are individually and collectively as a society. But we spent a large portion of that time being anxious about moving forward again. As though pause was spelled ‘poison’.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who want growth, a change and even, if they need it, the feeling of not being stagnant. I would encourage it even. Assuming if you actually know that is what you want.
It’s fine if you know that taking steps forward will get you to something or somewhere you want to get to. It’s fine if you actually know where you’re heading to.
I’ve seen so many people strive and push themselves to move forward simply because they feel the pressure to, or that appears to be what society encourages them to do and it leads them down a destructive path.
That’s because they don’t know where they want to head to when they move forward. A directionless vehicle that’s picking up speed is both careless and dangerous. It should stop so a moment can be taken to ponder on where the driver wants to head to. Just senselessly moving forward is not just dangerous for yourself but it is likely to hurt others as well. It’s like how someone is trying to save time by toggling their navigation app while the car is still moving instead of being responsible by stopping the car and doing it. Some time is not worth saving.
Too many happy marriages, relationships and families have been sacrificed at the altar of ‘moving forward’. Too many careers have been sacrificed by people who move into jobs they did not want to but felt they had to and the fallout from that decision ends up hurting themselves, their loved ones and the people they are supposed to be nurturing at work. Too many people’s finances have been sacrificed at the altar of wanting more. To quote Nick Cave, ‘Wanting everything is the thing that eventually tears you apart’.
I’ve never been an ambitious person. So I suppose that’s the stick that most people would use to beat me when it comes to this subject. That perhaps I am complacent. Or that I am resting on my laurels. Or perhaps I am lazy. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion. What has always been more important to me is that I know why I am where I am and whenever I decide to move forward, that I hope it is because I know where I want to head to and not because I feel this pressure to keep moving.
Otherwise I am staying here, for my sake, the sake of my family and my loved ones.