“What surprises you most about humanity?” When the XIV Dalai Lama was being asked this question, he replied, “We sacrifice our health in order to build wealth. Then we sacrifice this wealth in order to get back our health. We are so restless imagining what will happen in the future that we forget to live in the present. We live our lives as if we are never going to die and then eventually die never having truly lived.”
Consider this, the moment we turn two or three years old, we are enrolled in pre-nursery, nursery then Lower Kindergarten, and then Upper Kindergarten. Finally, we finish primary, high school and then senior secondary school. We are taught to live in the future because happiness is perceived as being in the next stage of life — maybe when we graduate or become a postgraduate.
Wait, that is not all, next is getting a job, finding the right life partner, starting a family, and bringing them up. Voila, one day we find ourselves on the deathbed and, looking back, realise that we were so focused on how the future will look like that we never experienced or savoured the present.
Life’s ups and downs, happiness and pain are beyond our control. We did not choose our parents, siblings, looks or religion, and the country and city we were born in. However, the decisions we take are absolutely in our control. We can choose how we respond to circumstances. And our choices can be made in the present moment, not in the past, not in the future.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.