The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions. –Madeleine L’Engle
Journals help me a lot with reflection and humility, because I realize that I haven’t learned everything I wanted to learn. The questions I had before are still the same, and for some reason, that’s comforting. Without the questions, we can’t search and grow and look for the Truth. It’s the ultimate hubris to have all of the answers.
There are little stories I write down in my journals, often about people I didn’t really know. These moments I had with them struck me as important, as insights into human nature. A lot of people overlook the particulars, but I think that some of the most important truths and ideas are relayed in an instant. If we forget these meetings and the feelings associated with them, we end up spending too much time dwelling on ourselves, and in doing so, we lose a part of ourselves.
Without reflection, it’s easy to repeat mistakes or to fall into a cycle. Forgetting can be deadly. I heard this once:
Every step forward begins with a foot planted firmly in the past.
If I don’t deal with what happened, it will keep coming around to bother me. If I don’t remember the mistake I made a year ago, I might make it again. If I don’t remember this time I was hurting, I might forget to show compassion to this person. If I don’t remember who someone was, I can’t have faith that things might change.
Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle. -Søren Kierkegaard