Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What About Tomorrow?

What about tomorrow? No need to worry; it's not here yet.

Six-year-olds who are sniffing gasoline don't worry about kidney damage tomorrow or fifteen years from now. Smokers are told that the "coffin nail" they are smoking will shave 15 minutes from their life, but they figure that those are the last 15 minutes of their lives, not worth living anyway. People who live on junk food and don't exercise have some vague idea that they are damaging their health, but they can deal with that tomorrow, when symptoms actually emerge.

We all want the good life -- satisfying career, good cash flow, supportive mate, adorable children, beautiful house and pets that don't scratch the paint off the doors. There are no guarantees that life will bring us these blessings. However, if we invest in the future -- getting an education, safeguarding our health, building nourishing relationships with others, applying for jobs that we are interested in, giving a day's work for a day's pay -- our chances of getting something worth having are greatly increased.

Every journey, no matter how long, begins with the first step. Every mountain, no matter how high, is climbed one step at a time. Every new skill has to be learned, one attempt at a time, with many failures and setbacks. Every structure, from a tiny log cabin to a great skyscraper, is put together one piece at a time. The law of cause and effect has not been repealed. We can dream big, but we have to start small.

It is useless to worry obsessively about tomorrow, or anything that we can't control. We are wiser to turn our attention to what is happening here and now, enjoying the gifts the day brings, while rising to the challenges in front of us.

No matter how good today is, it will not last forever. No matter how bad today is, there is something we can do to improve it, if not for ourselves, then for someone else.

What about tomorrow? For better or worse, we are building it now.

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