12 Oct Hope is Good but There is Something Even Better
Today is All You Have, Make Full Use of it!!
Faith, Hope and Charity are celebrated in the Corinthians. We have been indoctrinated into the belief that ‘hope’ is a wonderful virtue to cultivate. There are tales galore of persons in severely adverse circumstances who survived because they had ‘hope.’ We support our close ones by admonishing them ‘not to lose hope.’ We define ‘losers’ in our society as persons who have ‘given up hope.’
I invite you to consider that this approach that has undoubtedly helped many may still be flawed.
Because built into the very fabric of ‘hope’ is the notion that it is ‘tomorrow’ that will be better.
We ignore today because it is too problematic and live in the expectation that tomorrow will solve all our problems. There will always be another tomorrow. That, in fact, is the stirring conclusion of Gone With the Wind.
Here is the catch:
When we fixate on what will come, or could come, tomorrow, we dismiss the present. Possibly we even denigrate it.
But today is all you have. It is all you will ever have.
When you are busy imagining the many ways in which the future will be ‘better’, you are ignoring the gift that the present has for you. And it is a munificent gift.
It is our mental chatter that leads us to conclude that our present is terrible and needs to be changed. It is that incessant voice in our head that insists we change our circumstances and drives us in our quest for ‘more’.
We want more money, bigger house, a better spouse, more accomplished children, more fame and power and prestige. More, more, always more.
And Hope is the hand-maiden of this urge feeding it with the notion of possibility.
It makes us unhappy in the present and teaches us to live for and in the future.
And we forget that we can only be joyful now!
I get great pushback when I speak about this in public forums. I am asked if I advocate not ‘planning for the future’ and to abandon striving to make oneself better.
Of course not.
You should strive to grow, materially and spiritually. In fact, it is your obligation to do so.
But do so with a sense of joy and gratitude. Do so with the knowledge that the planning for tomorrow happens today. That the actions you undertake to bring about that future are taken in the present.
So you enjoy each day and it is complete in and of itself.
Tomorrow will be the same when it arrives.
You don’t work and strive in the ‘hope’ that there will be a superior tomorrow.
You work and strive because the working and striving itself are providing you with the nourishment you need and contribute to your growth.
And tomorrow will turn out the way it turns out and you are fine with it.
Try living this way. You may be surprised at how light and cheerful you feel.