Embracing the Present

By Sanika Tolia

An Arab poet once said, “The past is lost forever, and that which is hoped for is from the unseen, so all that you have is the present hour.” The past is never to return, the future is yet to come, and so we are left with the present day—this present moment. Time is something so often discussed and so often checked. Time is the first thing that pops up on your phone screen, it’s the one that hangs on almost every wall, the one that some even tie to their wrists. Time controls our nights and days; without time the day would not turn into night and the night would not turn into day. We know how time is counted and we know what time brings, yet why do we often find ourselves “running out of time” or feeling like there “ aren’t enough hours in the day”? In today’s society we often hear the phrase “time is money”, but is that really what it is? These questions can only be answered when we perceive time in the correct manner; this is through looking at the lenses of solely the present day, the present hour, and the present moment. Being preoccupied with the past and dragging past woes into the present will only bring an unstable and unsound mind. At the same time, being anxious over events in the future only adds worry and stress. “Do not cross the bridge until you reach it”—tomorrow has yet to arrive and you have the present moment to prepare for it.

In knowing what time is and with what lenses to look at it, we still have to realize that we are “managers” of our time. It will run its predestined path, but it is the requirement of each of us to put in effort at every moment. Every day should be seen as one goal. Do not have lofty and long-term goals but rather short-term appropriate goals that you can accomplish and surpass within the day. Expect death at any moment and do your best in doing good deeds. With this mindset, you will be able to concentrate and spend all of your energies on being productive each day. If I told you today was your last day to live, how would you spend the day? This should be our mindset every day. Avoid fretting about the future, forget about the pains of the past, and embrace this present moment.