We Are given This Moment and This Moment Only

Yesterday, we learned that our next-door neighbor died, so we went over to give our condolences to his wife, and talking to her was utterly heartbreaking. It reminded me of how fragile and tenuous our connection to all of this is. Everything we see as stable and concrete is fleeting and elusive. The next moment is never guaranteed to any of us.

Ideally, we would live in the moment. Because the truth is, our life is nothing more than this moment. There is no past or future, only now. But in this society, we have to plan for the future. If we truly live in the moment or live every day like it’s our last, we’re likely to run into trouble with the real world eventually. (“But doctor, I don’t have $1,800 to remove that growth…”)

But damn, this is it, isn’t it? The very second you’re reading this, that’s what we have. Or what you have. There’s no guarantee I’m still here while you’re reading this. It’s a wiggly concept for most of us to embrace, the now being everything.

I try to think that way, and my everyday philosophy is very now-centric. But talking to the neighbor reminds me that life continues beyond me, and there are things I have to do to make sure Ayin is safe and protected when I’m gone. So, I have to plan for the future. As much as anyone can.

Are living in the moment and planning for the future mutually exclusive? I don’t think so. They should be. Our society should take care of the people around us when we die, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t take care of us when we’re alive, so it’s foolish to expect any different when we’re dead.

I read today that the average home price in the six-county Southern California area is $869,082. That’s the selling price. In the real world. And a quarter of those sales in Los Angeles county are all cash.

So we live in a world where nearly a million people in one American county can write a check for close to a million dollars, but we can’t figure out how to give people living on the street a room to call their own. Somehow, we can’t find a way to give poor mothers a few hundred dollars more every month to feed their children.

What does that have to do with living in the moment?

Everything.

How can you live in the moment when every moment is anxiety, misery, or emergency? How can humanity survive this wealth and resource gap?

Spoiler alert: it can’t.

The wealthy believe they’ll be able to hide in bunkers when shit gets loopy, which is hilariously naive. They believe money will spare them of the fate of all of us. But we all end up the same way. Why not make things a little more equitable while we’re alive? Why not create a society where no one suffers?

Why not, indeed.

Hug your partner. Celebrate being here together in this moment. If you don’t have a partner, hug your neighbor. She might really need it right now.

WRITTEN BY A HUMAN

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