Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow. Horace
It was Benjimin Franklin who made a very apt statement when he said ‘ I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up. Often we tend to focus on the ironic humor in Franklin’s observation, unfortunately missing out on the larger point he made, that we need to seize the wonders of each day and utilize it fully. Tomorrow is actually an illusion for no one can predict the next moment and so we need to do what ever we have to now and yes we need to size the moment as it comes to us. We cannot afford to put off for tomorrow what needs to be done now.
What are most commonly deferred for a more opportune time are inevitably those tasks that we detest, despise, abhor. Even the most astute business men are capable of succumbing to this one big weakness of procrastinating; see the number of business tycoons who are unable to write a will and consequentially leave behind a trail of family disputes, legal machinations and a trail of sordid family saga. For ordinary mortals, the tendency is no less similar. They would avoid taking a tough stance, pussy foot complicated decisions and hope some miraculous solutions would appear tomorrow that would ease their agony.
On a more global level, societies where there is religious fervor tend to see a sharp increase in the dependence on divine intervention to what should ideally be a man made solutions to a man made problems. Agnostic societies use a similar logic albeit without giving any credit to divine interventions but use the garb of myopic political expediency to rationalize the evils of today. Many a time where long term solutions with short term hardships are the ideal answer, we tend to take the soft option because we want to see immediate results and leave the long term problem for tomorrow. After all tomorrows problem would belong to the people of tomorrow. What one fails to realize that we need to plan today for the future and if it means making sacrifices today for long term prosperity so be it. The energy crisis of today, the depleting fresh water resources, the ecological imbalance etc. are but symptomatic of this very myopic human tendency. If our politicians, policy makers and our forefathers had taken a long term holistic view of the indiscriminate depletion of natural resources, abuse of the abundance of nature and reaping without sowing today’s world would not be pushed to the brink of a crisis. Unfortunately we are equally guilty of what are forefathers did and so we end up seizing the day for just our immediate benefits and tomorrows generation will have to pay the price.
While the world debates the future, the earth beneath our feet is crumbling under the selfish, self centered and self inflicted crisis that we refuse to acknowledge today; will there be a tomorrow for the next generation?
Remember: We are not inheritors of the earth; mere custodians for our future generation.
- Irrespective of what age you are, try making a will. Be fair and realistic and do not make a casual attempt. The exercise may trouble you for various reasons from fear of death itself to realizing that fairness is relative and hard to define to recognizing what really our possessions are.
- Join up a NGO that is involved in any activity pertaining to protecting our earths treasures be it tree conservation, animal protection, rights of the tribals etc.
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