Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Do you remember that a few years ago you wanted to finish schoolwork and start working? How long ago was that? So it’s been almost a decade since Suarez and Asamoah Gyan broke the heart of Ghanaians?
So when exactly is life? Yesterday is memory. Tomorrow is just but a delusion. It is said that nobody knows tomorrow. This is a true saying. Tomorrow is also just but a mere wish. The security of wealth guarantees a better tomorrow but not tomorrow. One of the things we don’t have control over is tomorrow.
So when at all is life? Life is not yesterday. Unfortunately, life is even not today. There lived a young man in a certain village. This young man had grown to be very rude and a bully because he had joined himself to a group which was noted for doing notorious things. One day, he had a quarrel with a neighbour and decided to deal with him on his return from town that same day. Later in the day, whilst he was walking in town, a driver lost his break and knocked him down. He died on the spot. When the news broke, the whole village was in shock because they knew him and he looked too energetic and full of life to die. He had told his neighbour that he’d deal with him on his return which didn’t happen. Today is not guaranteed. Today has a future. There are 24 hours in a day which is full of uncertainties. Life is not tomorrow. Neither does life begin at 40.
Most of us are either living in yesterday or tomorrow. For example, one person says, “I will never forgive him for what he did to me.” Another person says, “I am a failure because I couldn’t meet the deadline.” These are examples of people living in yesterday. Another person also says, “When I buy a car, my life will be good.” This person is clearly living in the future. The principle of presence is at play here. The principle states that you are present where your mind is. So if you’re thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, that’s where you are present.
When is life? A lot of people are reacting and not living. Being sad is not living but reacting. Our feelings are mere reactions to our thoughts. The next time you feel sad, pay attention to what you were thinking and you’d realize that you’re only reacting.
When is life? Life is when there is breath. So when is life? Life is now… When someone is no longer breathing, we say the person is not alive. You’re not alive yesterday. You’re not alive tomorrow. Life begins at breath and not at birth. Think about it! You are not breathing yesterday, you’re not breathing tomorrow. You’re not even breathing today. The only time you breathe is now.
You can’t do anything about what has already happened. If you were disappointed by a loved one, there’s nothing you can do about it. If you were maltreated by someone, there is nothing you can do about it. The good news is that there is something you can do to it. Don’t live the bad experiences in the now. We are endowed with so rich a reservoir of memories that we can harm ourselves at any time if we decide to do so. If you choose to bring unpleasant memories of the past to the present, you have the right to do so. Unfortunately, doing that will only make you sad, frustrated etc. You can decide to also use your memories to your advantage. When you feel defeated and sad, you can fetch memories of when you felt the same but bounced back stronger. You are only permitted to ruminate on good memories. This is because it is a more healthy option.
You have control over only the now. Life is now and not tomorrow. Life is now so live it now and well. When is life? George Harrison, the lead guitarist of the Beatles band answered it by saying, “It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it, and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” Let us live now! Let us live now!
Author: Julius Ziorkuli, Psychology Department.