Live one day at a time

By Henrylito D. Tacio

I am sure you have heard of this joke before. At one time, a young man died and he faced Peter along the way. Peter told him that he needed to answer three questions correctly to go to heaven or else his soul will go to hell.

One of the three questions Peter asked was to name at least two days of the week whose letter start with T. Instead of saying “Tuesday and Thursday,” the young man answered, “Today and Tomorrow.”

This brings us to the subject of yesterday. Well, I am sure a lot of people still live in the past. In fact, some of them may consider the Beatles song written by Paul McCartney as one of their favorites:

“Yesterday, all my trouble seems so far away / Now it looks as though they’re here to stay / Oh, I believe in yesterday. / Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be. / There’s a shadow hanging over me. Oh, I believe in yesterday.”

What about tomorrow? Here’s what the late Hollywood actor John Wayne said, “We must look always to the future. Tomorrow – the time that gives a man or a country just one more chance – is merely one of the many things that I feel are wonderful in life… There’s a lot of things great about life. But I think tomorrow is the most important thing. It comes in to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

But yesterday and tomorrow are “the two days in every week” in which “we should not worry,” to quote the words of Jennifer Kritsch. We should be free from fear and apprehension of these two days.

Yesterday should be forgotten “with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.” Yesterday is no longer with us; it has passed forever beyond our control. “All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday,” Kritsch wrote. “We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word said. Yesterday is gone.”

Don’t worry about tomorrow “with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.” Like yesterday, 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 yet unborn.”

What about today? Kritsch points out: “Any man can fight the battles of just one day; it is only when you or 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 men mad – it is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.”

Let us, therefore, “live one day at a time,” urges Charles W. Shedd. “You can plan for tomorrow and hope for the future, but don’t live in it. Live this day well and tomorrow’s strength will come tomorrow.”

So, today, try to do the following:

Handle the hardest job. Easy ones are pleasures. Do not be afraid of criticism. Be glad and rejoice in the other fellow’s success. Be enthusiastic – it is contagious. Be fair and do no at least one decent act.

Have confidence in yourself; believe you can do it. Harmonize your work. Let sunshine radiate and penetrate your relationships.

Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed.

Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Speak love.

Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, and be gentle. Laugh a little more. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.

Welcome change as a friend; try to visualize new possibilities and the blessings it is bound to bring you. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Cheer someone.

Fight temptation. Pray for yourself and for someone. Go to church. Plant a tree. Don’t ride, walk. Run for your own sake. Jog to shed extra weight. Sing to your heart’s content.

Clean your drawer or table. Quit smoking. Wear a new shoes or shirt. Have fun. Compliment your teacher or professor. Listen.

Do the things you can do today. Forget the past. Never wait for tomorrow. Phillips Brooks urges: “You who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up someday; you who are keeping wretched quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your mind that now is the day to sacrifice your pride and kill them;

“You who are passing men sullenly upon the street, not speaking to them out of some silly spite, and yet knowing that it would fill you with shame and remorse if you heard that one of those men were dead tomorrow morning; you who are letting your neighbor starve, till you hear that he is dying of starvation; or letting your friend’s heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to give him someday;

“If you could only know and see and feel, all of a sudden, that ‘the time is short,’ how it would break the spell. How you would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do!”

Each day is filled with so many opportunities to experience the richness of life. The ‘Daily Motivator’ reminds: “As you go through this day, keep in mind what an incredible, irreplaceable, great experience life is. Wherever you go, whatever your circumstance, fill the moments with meaning and richness. Today is a special day, a day to be alive. Live it with joy, with wonder and intensity. Your great experience is happening now.” — ###

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One response to “Live one day at a time

  1. A beautiful and broad approach to thinking of Today. Looking forward to more of the same

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