surveying past events or periods.
Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English, Oxford University Press, Don Mills, 2005.
Humans are occupied with time’s passage and the changes that transpire. Individuals, teams, businesses, and countries have periods brilliance, of decline, and of progress.
Perhaps the immediate question that might be asked in a retrospective light is why success was lost, or else gained. Sometimes the answer might seem obvious:
Our team used to win all the time; now they never do. What happened?
I know what you mean. They lost their star pitcher – don’t you remember?
The reasons, in a person’s own life, for periods of success, failure, and reconstruction, might seem just as straightforward, but are they ever, really?
I don’t follow baseball, but I recall, when I was a kid, how a team with an impressive roster would lose to a team of relatively obscure players. It seemed to happen often, even in championships. Does it still, and not just in baseball?
The key to success might not be talent, but rather, balance. Yet, balance is difficult to see – and maybe even harder to recall. Perhaps, from a retrospective view, you can point to successful times as evidence that it was achieved, and times of failure, when it was lost. However, balance is instantaneous; in retrospect, what facilitated it is likely elusive.
Perhaps, more importantly than great pitches, the star pitcher brought balance to the team. How did they do that? A retrospective answer might be difficult to piece together, since so many facts evaporate when a period ends. Yet, when the retrospective point of view is all we have, perhaps we need to look in the right places, for the right information, rather than just what was recorded as important.
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.