A better tomorrow

Consider this one which I came across many years ago: ‘What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are not quite as important as what lies within us’.

In one swift stroke, this wise adage achieves three things. It brings us out of our attachment with the past, our preoccupation with the future and goes on to present a whole and vibrant philosophy of life.

We are often advised to let bygones be bygones, but this is easier said than done. We may forget the compliments that we receive, but hurtful deeds and words stay in the mind and fester there. They can poison our outlook and turn us into bitter individuals. They can even cause illnesses of the body and mind.

What can be done to avoid this? When you find you cannot excuse the person involved, it is worthwhile to ask yourself whether what occurred will really matter in, say, a couple of years. Very likely, it will not. So why not let it go past you right now and leave the offender to be what he or she is?

By brooding over matters, you are letting the person get hold of you, giving him the opportunity of making you his prisoner. By letting go, you will enjoy the freedom.

On the other hand, there are those who are obsessed with what lies in store for them.

There is the story of the man who spent all his time looking up at the stars trying to decipher his future. He missed spotting the yawning chasm on the ground right in front of him and fell headlong into it hurting himself badly. Blinding himself to the present, he brought on himself the very thing he had wanted to avoid.

A good policy is to allow the future to come to you. If there is good luck in store, one can well afford to await it; if not, why invite misfortune before it knocks on your door?

This brings us to the last and most significant part of the saying. If we can strengthen our inner selves, build up compassion, courage and faith, we will find that there is little that we cannot overcome. Of course these qualities cannot be had just for the asking.

They have to be cultivated and practiced.

A small change here, a shift in attitude or behaviour there, each day, is sufficient. The company of good people, good books, prayer and meditation will also help. What is more, once you embark on this journey, you will want to continue with it.

Best of all, the reward is great—today never fails to bring a better tomorrow!

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