Let My People Know

"Live life in the present"


A life that is constantly looking forward to "something" grand that is supposed to happen in some close or distant future is a strange life indeed. 

The child, looking forward to when he grows up, cedes – both out of his own will and because of his education – many childhood experiences. 

Yet when he grows up, he finds no special happiness in adulthood, no general change for the better that justifies the expectations that robbed him of his childhood. 

He sees that he has merely substituted one form of life with another. 

So, too, the old man, instead of drawing satisfaction from his present, keeps longing for the days when he was "young," and daydreams about a past which, in fact, was not better than his present.

As against this ideal of adulthood, which centers all of life on one, senseless point, stands the Jewish-human ideal of living life in its entirety. 

This means, living life as it is at any given time. 

It means not dreaming about some remote happiness, in the past or in the future, but rather living the happiness and pleasures of real, actual life – to live life in the present. 

In other words, it is to accept life and its general course as it is, and to live it accordingly.
-Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "From Childhood to Old Age : The Inner Aspect of Education," an essay by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz