Thursday, August 05, 2004

Short Term and Long Term

It's easy to be seduced by instant gratification in our mobile society. Sometimes, we don't think of the long term consequences. To me, that kind of living eventually leads to regret and perhaps even destruction, of others if not ourselves. Look at government policy: it might benefit us in the short term, but what are the long term remifications? Or to a smaller scale, what will our actions entail?

While it's impossible to foresee all the possibilities, I think people should look before they leap. And while having regrets is inevitable, we can lessen that burden by planning ahead and examining the way we want to live our life. If the action we are about to take is in line with that vision, then do it. If not, we should debate whether to go through with it, or if our goals need some adjusting (they are there, for a reason, after all).

Of course having said that, it's also important to address the short term. I mean we live in the present, after all, and we'll never reach the future until we take a step forward in the present. If we get too caught up in endless planning, what's the use of living? To live is to experience, and that also means living in the moment.

We shouldn't get too preoccupied with what-if's and what's already happened. The only time we can truly be ourselves is in the present. That's the only time we can savor our experiences. Before they become mere memories, enjoy that breath of fresh air. But don't dwell too much on the past (which we can't change), or too much on the future (which is potential at this point; what will come will come).

A synthesis of both present and future can help us live the life that we want. Sure, there are people who only live for the moment, but what will their future legacy be? And similarly, those who plan for the future all the time lose out on their present experiences (and since they'll always imagine tomorrow, they'll keep on forgetting today).


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