The Power of Today

Apr 25, 2011
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One of the most shocking moments this week was experienced in a routine moment of rolling through the hallways of the high school where I teach, long after the kids had been excused to roam on their own accord. Just shy of my office, another teacher passed by and asked, almost mechanically, how I was. My response? Something to the nature of, “Same old.”
Really? Why did I say that?

I couldn’t believe that these were the words that came out, for what I really wanted to say was something more to the effect of, “Fantastic! Did you see that sunrise coming in this morning? Also, there is a sale on my favorite frozen burritos and I finally had a struggling student understand the pathway of blood from the heart! Not to mention that I had a fabulous workout this morning and I am truly healthy and have been for 9 whole months! I’ve had this great pop tune stuck in my head all day which makes me bounce and I am looking forward to some frozen yogurt this afternoon as well.”

From any moments of darkness that I have experienced over the past 30 years of life, I have learned, in an overwhelming manner, the power that every single moment holds for each of us. I rarely waste my time dreaming about the future, nor worrying about it for that matter either. For what life has taught me in extravagant neon lights and blaring fog horns of wisdom is that it is lived in moments of the present solely.

In the present there is no past. There is no future. There is no such thing as regret and little to infest your mind with contagious worry.

For one reason or another, we are not necessarily wired for this sort of thinking. It is not typically in one’s nature to be so immediate and present; which I absolutely see growing in each of my high school students in an alarming rate. They sit in my class dying to get out of it; they can’t wait for the class period to be over. Once the period is over, they cannot wait for their lunch, and once lunch is over they dream of the final bell at the end of the day. They long for their weekends and even more so for their summers. These absorbent minds can’t see the moment. They have grown up seeing this in their families and mentors and on television. They cannot waste being happy now; because they have to look forward to something—anything that may or may not ever exist.

For me, this is a horrendously ridiculous problem that has been increasingly apparent in my life. I couldn’t simply imagine always waiting for something to happen, that’s just not the way to spend your moments. The only thing that I can guarantee in my life is this very moment right NOW. I am sitting at a fairly vacant café gazing out at droopy raindrops and Easter Day traffic. My brain is connecting with my fingers almost flawlessly as I type, and I’m fairly certain there is an ever-so-slight smile pressed on my face. There is nothing beyond this moment, and I am content with that. There is nothing but a pure and powerful recognition of the present, of today.

What are you doing right NOW in this moment? Is it something that can transcend a smile and squash the fear of worry and regret? Is it something that distracts you from blindly searching for your future? Is it something that keeps you engaged with the will to simply enjoy today?

At any rate, my smile’s still here.

Author: Ryan McLean



  • Cary

    Well said……….