The Importance Of Now
by Jean-Paul Cortes
(San Jose, Costa Rica)
Living In The Moment
"You can suffer in this world and the next, or you can live your life properly. Rejoice in the happiness of now, safe in the knowledge of the future."
The Opposites, Verses 15 & 16
Life is precious.
I learned this lesson some years back, when something happened in my life that forever changed the way I looked at things.
Back then, life was an endless summer for me. It wasn't until one morning, when a neighbor approached me and told me that the police had just found the body of a very close friend of mine, apparently he had committed suicide.
That moment changed everything...
Her words didn't quite register, I was unable to fully understand what she was saying. I was in complete disbelief and it took me a few minutes to make sense of what she had just said to me.
I knew that his brother was out of town, I had no idea exactly where he was staying and had no way of reaching him to tell him what had happened.
Quite numb and in a haze, I drove over to a friend's house, told him what had happened and made up my mind that somehow we were going find his brother and bring him back.
After a two hour drive, and having knocked on door after door, thankfully we found him. My stomach churned as we gave him the news.
No one said a word on the way back, I can't even being to imagine what was going to his mind.
When we arrived, we immediately took him to the morgue where his mother was waiting. Getting there, my heart sunk even further, looking into his mother's eyes was too much.
I couldn't help it, I started to cry uncontrollably. It was just too much anguish, all I felt was pain.
At the funeral, I remember looking up to the heavens and asking myself what had made him take this decision. I was mad at him, mad at God and mad at myself for for letting something like this happen.
I wished at that time to never again have to go through something like that.
As life would have it, it didn't turn out that way at all. Some years later, another close friend took his life as well.
What's more, a couple of years afterward my best friend, a pilot, tragically lost his life in an accident.
What seems like a series of unfortunate events, actually woke me up to something very important.
I could have wallowed in the pain and keep on feeling crushed over my friend's deaths, or I could find the lesson that life was trying to teach me.
I realized that I am still here. That I was not broken and I should keep on going. I also learned that I can make a difference in someone else's life. If only through a kind smile, a compassionate hug, a caring word, we all touch upon and influence everything around us.
We have a responsibility to ourselves and others, to hold life precious. Life is as it is. Though harsh and unforgiving at times, incomprehensible and unknown, we all have a choice of shaping our thoughts and creating a life well lived rejoicing in the happiness of now.
After all is said and done, our future depends on what we do and think at this moment and that is well enough.
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