Almost everyone is caught up living for the moment, living for the Now, with a few who apply themselves for a time beyond the Now, referred to as the Later group.
The problem is, I don’t know if either parties know the difference between Now and Later. And yet, we’ve reduced it to two factions and have decided it necessary that everyone choose one. Unless of course you want to be stranded in No Man’s Land where you neither capitalize on life nor prepare for the future.
They live for the present, squeezing everything they can out of the moment. They act in response to whatever compelling emotion or cause they feel tugging at their hearts.
Their equation to life is PLEASURE x EXPERIENCE = LIFE.
Mind you, pleasure can be replaced with any gratifying emotion or experience such as acceptance, wealth, comfort, love, knowledge, respect, status, attention, and the list goes on. Regret for them is equal to the adrenaline or happiness they felt they could have attained but missed out on.
People in this category highly and easily identify with the Fear of Missing Out.
These people live for a time to come, structuring their lives to enjoy it later, using a combination of rationale, repression, and discipline to chart a way to a more favorable future.
Their equation to life is INVESTMENT x LIFE = SECURITY.
In this case what’s alternated out is security. In fact, it can be replaced with the exact same words as above, whether it’s acceptance, wealth, comfort, etc. Regret for them is not having maximized their input and started early enough to reap the highest gain on life.
But I find a problem in the way we’ve compartmentalized these two cohorts. What is considered Now? One could argue the literal moment of the present, but another could be referring to an entire year.
And so by being so black and white in our categorization, we’ve estranged those of the Now to steer away from the drab of Later. We’ve pedestaled the philosophy of the Later to think they are beyond the primal members of the Now.
When in fact, if all that you’re pursuing is some arrangement of Life’s equation, then it doesn’t matter whether you do it now or later. The principle of investing yourself, sacrificing your time, and disciplining your character is for a means greater than one’s self.
If both roads lead to ME and end in an unattainable solution as Life nears zero, what use is that?
This is the futility of thinking that exists in both factions. This is the illusion of growth and of progress we’ve created to make ourselves feel superior to those who haven’t grasped the shortness and meaning of life.
But what if?
What if the entirety of life is much shorter than we expected.
What if it’s just a flash, a blowing of steam, or a thought that couldn’t fully form?
Our understanding of time is limited to what we know as the beginning and the end in the same way a baby is only aware of excruciating hunger and complete contentment.
Occasionally, but not often enough we come across people who are preparing the future not for themselves but for others. They are the same people that elude the common interests of man, slip through the fingers of our philosophy, and lead lives that inspire us in every capacity of life.
These are people I categorize into the Eternal Category. They see life as their first impression, their grand entrance into the threshold of eternity, and they aspire to wow us all. Life holds no meaning to them beyond the impact their lives can have on the world around them.
Their equation looks like this. SACRIFICE = HOPE.
Their residence on this planet is not confined to the property their wealth can buy but the lands on which their tears might fall.
They endeavor to lead lives that bring fulfillment not only to themselves but to an idea that never had the chance, a hope that was strangled, and a life that was oppressed.
Equipped with the certainty of continuity, fear has no place and worry finds no victim. Faith is their strength and forgiveness their motivation.
Life does not end for them at the crossroads of death. Instead, they continue to walk down the path of eternity.