I walked by a garden of flowers today. They were pretty, and I admired their beauty from afar, but I didn’t bother to stop to pick one, to sniff one. I just kept walking by. Yesterday, I was taking a similar stroll and the same thing happened. The same thing happened the day before that. Come to think of it, I’ve been passively walking by beauty for years now. And although my daily walks certainly get me from one destination to another, the stroll alone is stale because I never take the time to appreciate such things as the smell of a flower.
There’s a very good chance that I’m not living my life as fully as possible. “Carpe diem” is a concept that appears as dead as the Latin language. It’s difficult for me to seize the day, because I’m constantly concerned with chasing tomorrow. Before I know it, most of my life will be behind me — and instead of living in anticipation about the future, I’ll be sulking in regret for not appreciating what was once the present, and is now the past.
This is my problem, and I’ve come to realize that it’s a common one amongst people my age. Maybe it’s prompted by our fast-paced, post-industrial Western society. Maybe it’s elicited by the exhausting question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” — a question that’s been asked since the moment we could put vowels and consonants together. The majority of our lives have been spent thinking of the future, and as a result we have unintentionally forgotten about today.
Perhaps what we need is a little reality check and here it is: tomorrow is not a promise.
The only guarantee we have is today. There’s a saying that goes, “Treat each day as if it were your last.” Although it’s an easy philosophy to recite, it’s a difficult one to practice. But the truth is, life is unpredictable. It’s impossible to perfectly predict the college we will go to, the professions we will hold, what the weather will be like tomorrow, or even if those flowers you see everyday on your way home from school will still be there. So pick that flower and take a big whiff of the sweet scent. Indulge in today.