By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 28-12-2017
Most people just exist and function; but life is to be lived, loved, and celebrated. Every moment is precious. Life is to be lived from the perspective of eternity. If I were to view my entire life on a large screen a few minutes before my death, what things would I change? Well, I have that chance since I am alive. I have the choice to live my life just the way I want taking into account all my limitations and external restrictions. Often I do not have a choice about my life situation. The Prophet of Nazareth said: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul (Mat. 10, 28). Mahatma Gandhi is reported to have said something to this effect: “The British can imprison my body, but cannot imprison my mind and spirit”. He used the time in jail to have the much-needed rest, catch up with reading, and write.
Life is to be lived in the here and now. All I have is now, this present moment. The next moment is not promised. The eleven persons so far killed in one of the most heinous terrorist acts in Pune a few days ago (February 13, 2010) never thought that morning that they would not see another day. So I have to live
every moment as if it were my last moment. When I was training graduate students in counselling and psychotherapy I used to tell them that people who are not ready to face death have not really started living. People need to live the way they want to die. They really need to be prepared to die at any time.
The kind of one’s end is determined by the quality of one’s life. Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow comes only in terms of today. So what we have is only today. The tomorrow we worried about yesterday is today. We can waste today worrying about tomorrow; or we can live today to the full. The Prophet of Nazareth said: “Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Mat.) The best way to prepare
for tomorrow is to learn from yesterday and to live today well facing today’s problems and challenges and making the best possible decisions.
Wasting today worrying about tomorrow or trying to control things that we have no control over I am reminded of the two kids who were given three ladoos (sweets)each. One kid looked intently at the other kid’s ladoos wishing to have them also for himself. Meanwhile a cat came and ran away with his. An inspirational message under the heading Living Life to the Fullest a friend of mine from the USA sent to me recently via e-mail had this to say: “First, I was dying to finish my high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. Then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back to work. But then I was dying to retire. And now I am dying… And suddenly I realized I forgot to live. Please don’t let this happen to you. Appreciate your current situation and enjoy each day… old friend.
To make money we lose our health, and then to restore our health we lose our money…We live as if we are
never going to die, and we die as if we never lived. Life is not measured by the number of
breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. “It is not how much time we have on this earth that matters; it is how we live the time that we actually have. So seize the day (cape
diem); celebrate each moment.
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.