Enjoying the moment…..in the midst of misery


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; ‘todayreally 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

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13 replies

  1. I thought you were gonna go in a different direction and say that we can learn something from Egypt and they’re people, not just ‘accept it and let it go’. The people of Egypt are not just accepting the same bullshit like we are and yes they’re in a tough place right now but one could say they’re certainly living in the moment. We ‘need to let go’ of injustice? Poverty? Unemployment? That’s just turning a blind eye and not living in the moment at all. If we accept and get used to all the horrible things in the world, nothing will get done.

  2. awesome post, and a practice worth giving your time to- remaining in the present…so much easier said than done! at least for me 🙂

  3. Maybe it’s as simple as savoring that first sip of coffee. We don’t have to live in the moment the whole day…maybe just for a moment.

  4. Change can only happen in this moment. You are a father, so maybe you can relate to teaching your kids to realize this. My 23 year old daughter is stuck in some resentments about the past. She also has an inordinate fear of trying new behaviors because she focuses on a failure free future. Yesterday when she over reacted to a past event influencing our moment, I reminded her that things are very different now. To enjoy this moment means to see it free of projecting from the past. I see all people that speak up about change are brave and really living.

  5. wishing you continued joy in stopping to smell the coffee despite the endless suffering all around! I can relate.

  6. not to make matters more complicated but by the time we hear about Egypt, it’s just about tomorrow for them anyway (not exactly sure of the time difference but still just a thought). im kind of an odd chick – i think with the exception of things like school etc., i never thought about tomorrow (i.e. didn’t do enough internships to better prepare myself for my career, didn’t plan for the future at all really) and that’s why now im so consumed with it because i can’t help but feel time is running out. i didn’t at least somewhat plan ahead and am now playing catch up – not a good feeling. now i can’t stop thinking of tomorrow at a time when i need to be thinking about today and just living my life. blech. frustrating to say the least. it figures i’d do it backwards lol 🙂 i think you hit the nail on the head again kenneth – it’s about balance – consider tomorrow but live for today.

    • Jen,

      its funny that you say you ‘feel time is running out’ because i bet there are a ton of people who would want to be a beat reporter at a newspaper! 🙂

    • Ha very true: By the time I finish a post here it is already ‘tomorrow’ somewhere else!

      I think you make a good point that not everyone is obsessed with tomorrow, even I during my high school years didn’t think too far into the future….i guess it is more now as i get a little bit older that i realize a lot of my life is geared toward thinking about the future and i don’t want to forget about today in the process

  7. You are doing more than savoring your coffee… everyone else is getting zapped too… thank you.

  8. Love this post! I hear ya and I’m working on all this too. I think you touch on some universal truths and issues we all have as human beings. Where is the meaning in all of this? How can we live our lives to the very fullest and not have any regrets on our death bed? Meditation has helped me work on this a lot…have you tried it?

  9. I believe that what we leave outside the calculation is the voting for politicians that actually instigate there situations on the other side of the planet, presumably for “their citizens well being”. Egypt and Syria and Lybia and South America and most of Africa and Asia are treated by the good (not so) old USA politicians as lambs ready to be slaughtered when ever they feel like. Of course it is not about american citizens, it is about money and control from big companies and funds, but we should be aware that every thing counts, votes and purchases of cheap things. And if they change these politicians with better ones I know that the change will go out for those countries as well. And this demands a 24 hour struggle, because the opposition doing wrong, works 24 hours.

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