What each of us is doing this minute is the most important event in history for us. We have decided to invest our resources in this opportunity rather than in any other. It is helpful to remember this when we consider the passage of time.
As I write this, my mother is in her nineties and I will never see sixty again. As the years pass, I am acutely aware that the bird of time is on the wing. At my fiftieth high school reunion, I saw old people who claimed to be my former classmates.
We all had big name tags printed in capital letters so we wouldn’t have to squint with our reading glasses on trying to associate the name with each well-traveled face. It was only yesterday that I was really enjoying high school. What had happened to the five decades in between? Where had they flown?
To the side of the bandstand, where the big-band sound of the late 1940s and 50s blared our favorite top-ten hits, there was a poster with a printed verse for all of us to see. I read the words out loud: “There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds; but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn. This leaves only one day: Today.
Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities -Yesterday and Tomorrow – that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives us mad, it is remorse and bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore, live this one full Today.”
Malcolm Forbes believed the important thing is never to say die until you’re dead, and he lived that example to the hilt. It is, as we realize when we suddenly attend our fiftieth high school reunion, a short journey. But it also is difficult to be depressed and active at the same time.
So get active! And make today your best day ever!