By Kenneth Justice
~ How often do you really enjoy the moment?
One of the biggest lies I grew up believing was that life is all about what happens tomorrow and that today….well, ‘today is no big deal’.
I was taught to believe that if I woke up every morning and was a ‘good little boy’ that one day all my dreams would come true…..everything was focused on tomorrow.
I can’t say there was a specific moment, it was more of an amalgamation of various factors; but at some point in recent years I realized that I wanted to stop waiting for tomorrow to come and I wanted to live today.
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of elements in Western Culture which are designed to make you focus on tomorrow;
–) We go to school and count the days till we graduate high-school
–) We go to university and count the days till we earn our undergraduate degree
–) We get a new job and we count the days till we can advance further in our career and make some ‘real money’
–) We go on dates and count the days till we meet that ‘special someone’ who we can fall in love with for a lifetime
To make matters worse, when we observe what is going on in the world there is a lot to be discouraged about when it comes to ‘tomorrow’;
–) As the job situation throughout the Western World is at an all time precarious position, many people are beginning to doubt that tomorrow will bring good times.
–) Even among the people who are employed, job satisfaction is at an all time high
–) As each New Year brings new wars throughout the world, many of us are beginning to believe that humanity is destined to keep repeating the sins of our past.
All of this brings me to the situation in Egypt;
This past week, for the second time in less than two years the country of Egypt has experienced yet another coup; the country is split on who should run the government.
–) Fed up with the nefarious President Mubarak the Egyptians ran him out of office in 2011
–) Now, fed up with what they believe are lies and misinformation from President Mohamed Morsy they ran him out of office over the past few days.
Men and women in Egypt are tired of waiting for ‘tomorrow’. They want a better life now.
Who can blame them?
In May of this year The Guardian reported that Egypt is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s.
When I sat down to write this article I wanted to talk about my transformation in thinking; I wanted to tell you how I used to be obsessed with the future but am much more satisfied now that I living in today…..
That is what I wanted to write about…
But how can I? How can I write about the joy of living in the moment, the joy of living in today….when for the people in Egypt; ‘today’ really sucks…doesn’t it?
I mean, what does ‘enjoying the moment’ mean for someone stuck in the chaos of Cairo right now?
How do we in the Western World wrap our minds around moments like this?
Injustice always exists; I get that
Suffering always exists; I get that
Poverty always exists; I get that
Unemployment always exists; I get that
Even though we realize that injustice, poverty, suffering, etc have always existed and likely will always exist in varying degrees……just because we ‘get it’….it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.
But at a certain point….we need to let it go.
1) On one hand we should be mindful of what is going on in places like Egypt and whether we feel compelled to pray, send money, or lend any other type of assistance…we should do so.
2) After that is done….we need to let it go.
Isn’t that what it means to live in ‘today’? We can’t spend every waking moment worrying about what could happen in Egypt tomorrow.
We can’t spend every waking moment worrying about things that are beyond our control.
At a certain point, once we have exhausted our responsibilities (prayer, money, aid, etc) we need to live our own life….right?
We have to be at peace with the things that are beyond our control.
Because of my faith in God I find a measure of peace in the thought that there is something….someone…bigger than myself.
I have the faith that things can get better…..even though it seems as though things are only getting worse.
Ultimately, I don’t want my life to pass me by….
I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that all I ever did was work, eat, and sleep…..
I want to enjoy each moment for what it is…..but in so doing I don’t want to ignore the world around me.
I’m going to savor every drop of this morning’s coffee.
Categories: Culture & Society