Should You Live Only for Today?
“I NEVER think of the future. It comes soon enough.” Those oft-quoted words are attributed to the noted scientist Albert Einstein. Many people express similar sentiments. “Why worry about the future?” they may say. Or you may have heard people say such things as: “Just get on with life.” “Live for today.” “Forget tomorrow.”
That overall approach, of course, is not new. “Eat, drink, enjoy yourself. The rest is nothing.” This was the motto of the ancient Epicureans. Some contemporaries of the apostle Paul held a similar view. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die” was their view. (1 Corinthians 15:32) They believed that this short life is all we will ever have, so they promoted the idea that we should make the most of that life.
For millions of earth’s inhabitants, making the most of this life certainly does not mean a hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. The dire circumstances in which many find themselves make their life today nothing but a relentless, bitter struggle for survival. Why should they think about the future, a “tomorrow” that often seems unbearably bleak and hopeless?
Plan for Tomorrow?
Even people in less difficult circumstances often see little point in making plans for tomorrow. “Why bother?” they may ask. Some may reason that those who do make plans end up disillusioned and disappointed. Even the patriarch Job of ancient times experienced great despair when he saw his plans simply “torn apart,” ruining what should have made for a happy future for him and his family.—Job 17:11; Ecclesiastes 9:11.
Scottish poet Robert Burns likened our plight to that of a tiny field mouse whose nest Burns inadvertently destroyed with the blade of his plow. The mouse ran for its life after its world was turned upside down. ‘Yes,’ thought the poet, ‘how often we find ourselves powerless in the face of events totally beyond our control so that even the best-laid schemes often come to absolutely nothing.’
So is it pointless to plan for the future? The fact is that lack of adequate planning can have devastating results when hurricanes or other natural disasters occur. Granted, no one could have stopped Hurricane Katrina, for example. But might not better foresight and planning have done much to minimize the effects on the city and its inhabitants?
What do you think? Does it really make sense to live only for today and to ignore tomorrow? Consider what the next article has to say on this subject.
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“Eat, drink, enjoy yourself. The rest is nothing”
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Would foresight and planning have minimized the effects of Hurricane Katrina?
U.S. Coast Guard Digital