The past is immutable and the future is yet tenuous and undefined. Memories of the past are full of triumphs and regrets while anticipations of the future are full of hopes and fears.
If we lose ourselves in memories of the past or fantasies about the future, we lose valuable experiences that take place in the present moment. As I mentioned in my previous article “Present Perfect,” we don’t remain completely in the present.
The change of seasons reminds us of the Buddhist concepts of transience and impermanence—that everything is impermanent—everything, including our own selves. Somehow, we refrain from acknowledging our own impermanence and resist confronting our own mortality.
Like the generation of leaves, the lives of mortal men.
Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth,
now the living timber bursts with the new buds
and spring comes round again. And so with men:
as one generation comes to life, another dies away.
Idea for Impact: The passage of time induces us to confront our own mortality. Considering our own morality is a useful tool to guide our present actions. It reminds us to appreciate and live each moment purposefully and wisely.