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Sometimes, we need to go back and recover what we mistakenly left in the past

An old myth says that when the Greeks went to Troy to fight the famous war, one of them, Philoctetes, was abandoned by his companions on a desert island because, after being bitten by a snake, his screams and his stench became intolerable for the other soldiers. But that's not the end of the story.

According to mythology, the Greeks would only win the war only if, in battles, they used the bow that Hercules himself had once used. But there was a problem: the one who had that bow and the only one who knew how to use it was Philoctetes, who had been abandoned and left for dead, but now needed more than ever. So, they went to the island to get him. 

Anyone who wants to find out all the tricks that Odysseus and other characters had to use to win back Philoctetes' trust and get the eminent archer to join the war can read the tragedy that Sophocles wrote on the subject. 

Like all myths, this one also has an undeniable psychological level that, although covered with unusual names for us and within the framework of a legend (although the Trojan War was real), is still valid in our time and for us. After all, many times we discard something in our life and later we understand that it was a mistake.

Sometimes, as in the case of Philoctetes, we dismiss the people we meet just because there is something we dislike of them, or because it is inconvenient to be with them or, even worse, simply because we do not we want to share their suffering. But when we suddenly need those people, there we go to look for them.

Sometimes, there are ideas or teachings that we have learned and that, at a certain point, we believe they no longer serve us and we abandon them with the same ease that we get rid of those clothes that became too small or that became old-fashioned. But then something happens, and it turns out that those teachings take on a new value and we go back to them.

And sometimes we get rid of things which we consider useless not because there is nothing wrong with them, but because the market floods us with newer objects. But "new" does not mean "better", and then when the new thing fails, we resort to what we considered obsolete to solve the problem.

As my grandmother used to say: "He who keeps, always has."

But, beyond what we discard, wisdom consists in accepting, when the time comes, that it was a mistake to discard it and that we must recover it, even if that means returning to the place or moment when we discarded it and looking for a reunion that allows correcting the mistake and continue together into the future.

Knowing what to take with us into the future is as important as knowing what to leave in the past and what to receive from the future.


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