We are All Time Travellers, and We Should Stop.

Stories To Live By | The Present is a Gift | Master Oogway

I found myself doing it again- time travelling. To be honest, it’s so easy to do, just think about anything but the present moment, whether it be a worry, or an anxiety. And truth be told, it’s destructive.

Try this next time you’re in a city crosswalk:

During one stop, don’t move, and examine the faces of everyone around you. It’s scarily easy to see who’s been hurrying their whole life, who wishes they needed to be somewhere else, and who is thinking about the past.  Rarely in today’s modern life will you find the person who is truly enjoying the stroll, who can appreciate the energy of the city, with its lights and sounds, and the smells of all different kinds of food, where cultures connect on a scale unheard of in history. The successful person is one that can focus on the present and work in the here and now.

How often do we find ourselves wishing for the “good ol’ days?” Or, for the younger generation, wishing that we were our future selves already? It’s far too easy to complain about the present that we escape into either the thoughts of the future or the memories of the past. Meanwhile, the day is slipping by, precious moments of existence that we waste into the ether by mindless reminiscing.

Yet we continue to worry, because of course it’s actually easier to focus on other problems than the present, because they require direct action, and impact us here and now, when we’re most vulnerable. The biggest problem in today’s world is the fear of facing the music. The fear of facing the world as it is today. The realities of economic havoc are in plain sight.

Everyone is thinking about the future, anxious and worried, or stuck in the past, regretting things, living in nostalgia, refusing to let go.

Heck, Jesus Himself had something to say about it. Out of the many thousands of words He spoke, Matthew found reason to write these down:

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Matthew 6:34

As did Master Oogway:

“You are too concerned with what was, and what will be… Yesterday is history, Tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present - Kung Fu Panda”

Image Source: Dreamworks SKG Animation

Then maybe, the next time you’re at a crosswalk, and the person notices you not moving and asks “Don’t you have to go somewhere?,” you’ll be able to respond with the full force of interior peace, “I’m exactly where I need to be.”

 

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