I initially started the quote blog as a way to give myself daily inspiration and encouragement, but then the blog started picking up followers, so now I feel obligated to keep it up. It’s a good practice, though, kind of my morning meditation in a way.
I came across a quote a while back that I didn’t fully understand, and I wasn’t sure that I particularly liked it, so I didn’t copy it down. I wish now that I had. It was somebody talking about coming upon an old man planting trees, and the man made some comment about living each day to make a better tomorrow. The person thought that was an odd outlook, because they tried to live each day as if there were no tomorrow.
I can see the benefits in both perspectives. The recent explosions in Boston and West, Texas – stemming from utterly different causes but both resulting in injury, death and devastation – are poignant reminders that we just don’t know what to expect on any given day. We can’t let ourselves be paralyzed by fear of the unknown, however, or we end up living like there is no today.
So it makes absolute sense to live for today, to make the most of what we have in the moment, because there are no re-do’s in life. What do they say… life is not a dress rehearsal; and tomorrow may never come, right?
But tomorrow does come. One day it won’t come for me, but it will come. And if we take living for today to an extreme, then we are being irresponsible to those who are dependent upon our legacy.
This coming Monday (the 22nd) is Earth Day. It’s a very good day to think about living for tomorrow. Just as life is not a dress rehearsal, the Earth is not a disposable diaper. It’s not here to accept our waste and be thrown away. First of all, there’s no other game in town; it’s our only inhabitable planet to date. And secondly, the Earth is a sacred ecosystem. We truly have no right to misuse and abuse our natural resources.
The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has a campaign called “Pick 5” where they are encouraging us to choose five steps that we can take to help protect and improve our environment. American race car driver Leilani Munter is featured on the site, and she states that she is aware of the carbon footprint of her race car and her lifestyle, and so for every race she’s in, she adopts an acre of rainforest to offset her effect on the environment.
When I first watched the video with Leilani, I was struck with what seemed to me to be a flagrant example of hypocrisy. If she’s concerned about the carbon footprint of her race car, maybe she should quit racing. But then again, if she quits racing, maybe she couldn’t afford to adopt acres of rainforest.
I guess it all comes down to balance. I don’t live a totally “green” lifestyle, but I do try to be aware of ways I can help protect the environment. And maybe there needs to be a balance between living for today and living for tomorrow. The old man planting the tree may have been totally enjoying himself in the moment while still acting responsibly toward the future.
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. For me, I’m going to keep sending out my daily quotes of encouragement. I hope Boston keeps hosting a marathon. I hope Leilani keeps adopting the rainforest. Living for today – mindfully and responsibly – gives us the best of both worlds.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected in Boston and West, Texas.