Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today" is one of the commandments of a popular guru. It may seem like a rather mundane directive considering the Ten Commandments, but think about it. If we didn't put off anything, and acted upon every "to do" list we had, or materialized an invention in the back of our brain, a mighty lot could be accomplished in this life - including more leisure and less anxiety and guilt.

The most frustrating examples of a loss, for people who put things off, are the lottery winners who never knew that they had won. Over half a billion dollars in lottery wins went unclaimed in the US last year. Maybe it's good that the people who got lazy about checking their numbers don't know what they are missing. Like the stockbrokers in the crash of 1929, people might start jumping out of high rise windows after knowing a better life (in terms of material comfort) was squandered, simply by not taking care of business.

My father never approved of my spiritual life, especially the fact that I had a guru (which means "dispeller of darkness, revealer of light"). He felt that my teacher supplanted his role as the supreme patriarch, an oddly egotistical position considering that he championed women's rights and civil rights quite vocally.

He once said, "Carole, I could never understand why such a smart girl like you would think that 'never put off until tomorrow what you can do today' is so brilliant. Everyone knows that."

Well dad, the truth is hidden in plain view, but sometimes us humans just overlook the most obvious things in life. Like telling each other how much we appreciate being alive together. And let's face it. If you just lost out on millions of dollars because of inattention, you better get hip to the love in your life for your own sanity. In the end, that's the richest boon of all and the only one that counts anyway.

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