Lesson 109: Dwelling in the past
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 1/24 ('We'll Always Have Paris')


Capt. Picard tries to come to grips with old unresolved feelings about an old girlfriend he had stood up in Paris, France many years earlier, before he took command of the Enterprise.

He uses the Holodeck to recreate the old Paris environment so as to address his issues properly through dialog with a Holo-image of his former girlfriend in the original setting.

After initiating the conversation with the holo-image of his old girlfriend, Capt. Picard stops the Holodeck simulation abruptly, exclaiming, 'enough of this self-indulgence' and exits the Holodeck, returning to duty.


With the passage of time, we sometimes come to realize that there may have been occasions in our lives, in the past, where we perhaps could have done better, acted differently, said kinder and more appropriate words, or even behaved more empathically in certain situations.

This realization shows growth in maturity and a glance at gaining a modicum of wisdom. While this ascension in better understanding oneself is to be highly encouraged, there is an underlying, unseen trap that must be avoided.

Recognizing that we perhaps might have handled a past situation differently often will draw us into creating multiple scenarios with alternate outcomes in our mind, each of which leads to satisfy us better.

While this mental play of images and words may serve in pleasing us, they manage to pull us in further and further into self-directed thoughts and conclusions that, before long, have detracted totally from reality.

Addressing our past issues and learning from our mistakes helps us to do and be better in the future. Dwelling too long on issues in the past serves no purpose as we are powerless to change past events.

Even with the time-travel capabilities of the starship Enterprise at his disposal, Capt. Picard knows that he is unable to change his past history.

Better to just accept our past actions, learn from our mistakes and move on.

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