There’s a song by the group 10,000 Maniacs, who disbanded in the early 90s, entitled “These Are Days.” It’s a beautiful song, as sung by lyricist and frontwoman Natalie Merchant. Probably everyone has heard it at one time or another by now. The sentiment is very strong, and it contains a wonderful mindfulness concept. The song begins, “These are days…you’ll remember.”
The idea that tomorrow is better than today is an insidious idea. It’s a carrot that perpetually dangles before us. We keep trying to get to the future, but we never get there. That’s because we are always in the present. A 1000 years from now, people won’t be living in the future. They’ll be living in the present moment. In that sense, there is no future. There is only this moment that we have right here, right now. If we can accept this moment as it is and the wonder it holds, then there’s no reason to focus on the fiction of the future being an inherently better place.
Thought of in another way – this is the future to our past self. Reminds me of an old song by Carly Simon entitled, “Anticipation.” It ends with the refrain, “These are the good old days.”
Aren’t they? Certainly, there are people who are truly suffering in the present. But most of us are doing well enough, but keep thinking the future will be better than the present. If we can learn to accept the truth that the present is the time to enjoy, we unlock a powerful reality that can liberate us from much suffering and help us enjoy our lives more than ever.