William Seward Burroughs II: “I would say for a great percentage of people, all they do is repeat their past. They really don’t have a future at all.” Burroughs comes out and directly says it – the majority of us just repeat the past. He then quickly turns to the obvious effect of that, saying we in turn have no future. We are just stuck. Repeating the same trivial things over and over and over.
I think this is a deeply honest thing for Burroughs to say. I think he cuts through all the nonsense we tell ourselves regarding our lives. He cuts through how we stay in the same relationship, the same job, same living space, same friends, while hoping things will change. But never actually having the courage to change. Just wishing.
These people are the ones Burroughs is referring: the ones who hope for change, pray for change, think of change but don’t physically do anything to make change. He says there is no future for those people. There is no difference. Time will march on and they will stay the same. They will stay content with not changing. Stay content with just wishing.
And this is not good. I feel like the wording of this quote makes that very clear. Burroughs is clearly looking down at the people who have no future. He is clearly articulating that he believes in order to have a future, one must grow and change.
I agree. I think a life of repeating the past – a stagnant life – is one of boredom and following trivial rules laid down by others. I think we need to be conscious of how we live in order to avoid recycling the past directly into our present. Conscious of how we’re growing and how we can continue to grow. And after knowing what needs to change, we have to actually change. We have to follow through.