Today, my mind went on a reflection acrobatics.
It kept juggling concepts of future and present. Is there a middle ground between the future and the present? Why do we plan so much about the future as if there’s a guarantee that we would live there? Why is it hard to live in the moment and simply enjoy the joys of existing?
A woman, for example, works as a nurse in NHS. She works hard to save for her future. In her future, she has a nice house, a nice car and other nice things. To reach this glorious destination, she must work for sixty to seventy hours a week. She’s definite about the future and the present doesn’t matter.
I think we miss the importance of the present. We forget to squeeze out every juice in every moment. The nurse could argue that she enjoys what she does and that’s how she derives her own squeezing out of every moment. But, then again, there’s that glowing future that drives her daily.
So, here is the dilemma, she hopes that she would be in the future and she gambles with all present moments.
We are who we are by the influences of many things: science, religion, and society. But I digress.
What makes us forget the moment is deeply enmeshed by our animal instinct to chase, to become, to be. We don’t think we are good enough at the moment, we don’t appreciate the breath of air that seeps into our nostrils and we want something better.
We don’t appreciate the rays of sunlight that enters our body. We don’t want to speak to the calm rivers inside us. There must be something better than the present.
Therefore, we are going to dig deep into earth to promote us into the next minute and the next hour. The present is now a movement. It is not actually present. The present becomes a moving force. We see it slipping away. We see the present leaving us in drabs and that’s what we fear. We want to still time and exist in our constructs. But, time is forever moving.
We can’t say our lady nurse shouldn’t dream of the future or work towards. But, it comes at a price: pawning a lot of present moments . She will miss a lot of smiles today just to smile tomorrow. And, there’s no guarantee that tomorrow will will be kind to her.
A train driver goes in one direction and sometimes the passengers on the train face another direction. There’s a movement towards a destination but where the driver faces and where the passenger faces are two different things. One thing is certain, they will get to the same place. Humans are on a train journey, there is a destination. We know the destination but we don’t want to talk about the destination. We don’t want to bask in the knowing of that destination. It seems we are afraid of where we are really going to be. We are mortals but we don’t accept that concept.
The other day, there were so many people enjoying the morning sun right in front of a river. They were enjoying the calm sea, drinking wine, and running around. Without warning the sea rose to meet them and took them away. Leaving nothing. They were in the present but they didn’t perceive that the laws of nature would be so unkind to them. People prayed to the gods and asked him questions, people turned to science to ask what made the calm sea rise to meet them and others were quick to ask what made them go to the front of the sea to enjoy the moment. Answers were complex. No one answer was right. In trying to enjoy that moment, they have won even in death.
Life is a series of present moments. It’s not how long we live that matters it’s how many moments we create for the fulfilment of our own happiness. The present is vast canvas. It’s an expanding unknowns. If we can bask in the present, the moving present as is, then we can enjoy the little offerings of life.