Looking in the Rear View Mirror and Asking “How Long?”

When you buckle into your vehicle, you check the rear view mirror; as you drive, you naturally glance up regularly to see what’s coming behind you. I was not aware how much I depended on my mirror until it fell off, and I was without it for several days. The rear view mirror is essential for safe driving. It keeps drivers up to date with what’s happening behind them. Context, one of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 34 talent themes is very similar to looking in the rear view mirror. People with strong Context have a unique ability to understand the link between where they have come from and where they are going.

Gallup explains Context further, “Perspective and background are important for people with strong Context talents. They look back to understand the present. From the past, they can discern blueprints for direction. And, counter intuitively, they become wiser about the future because they can see its seeds sown in the past.”

I have Context and Learner in my top five StrengthsFinder talents. I love to learn about history, not to look at the past, but to learn from it in order to change the future. To take your own assessment, go to Gallup StrengthsFinder official site.

I recently subscribed to THIS DAY IN HISTORY. Each day I receive an email of what happened on that particular day in history. Two significant events, separated by 82 years happened today in history that made me pause to ask,

“Have we learned anything from our past?”

abraham-lincoln-148527_640The first event happened in 1865. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States died from an assassin’s bullet. Lincoln was president during the Civil War, fighting to end slavery.

He changed history when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. With one stroke of his pen, he declared all slaves to be free men.


The second significant event that caught my eye happened in 1jackie-robinson-1172118_1280947. Up until that year, baseball was segregated.



On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke a 50 year color barrier and became the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Despite his great success, Jackie Robinson faced tremendous racial discrimination throughout his Hall of Fame career.

1865. 1947. 2016.

Another 69 years have passed, and looking into the rear view mirror at events in our country and around the world, we have not traveled very far toward oneness, equality and diversity. There is still much racial tension, and the issue of slavery has added on the current horrors of human and sex trafficking.

I echo what Martin Luther King, Jr. cried, How Long?

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8 thoughts on “Looking in the Rear View Mirror and Asking “How Long?”

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    1. That’s a great point Steve.With new technology and new situations, comes new territory to learn again. One of my favorite professors talked a lot about praxis–action with reflection. I tend to be action oriented and have to be intentional to reflect on the lessons I am learning. Why do you think we repeat ourselves?

  1. Great reflections. Huge reminder of what is truth. And what needs to be. Thanks for this, Steverino! Would that we could value all people as worthwhile because God has made them that way.

      1. Pretty much pride, self-centeredness, arrogance–you know, sin in general. We don’t see others as worthwhile because we question whether we are as well. Yet it’s how we’re to reflect Jesus. How we’re to treat others. Treating them as better than ourselves, giving them the value God has given them when He made them in His image. We’re just a hot mess, my friend.

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