"IN' but not "FOR"
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
We often read and learn about the power of "living in the moment". The Mindfulness movement for example emphasises the ability of being fully present in the "now" maximising the full potential of the present experience. It teaches us to be aware of that which is happening to us, even those things that we normally take for granted and miss, such as breathing or the taste of our food.
In today's society with more distractions than ever this is an important and powerful perspective. Too often we rush from one thing to another always catching up trying to chase so many different goals. While engaged in one activity, we worry about the next one, not giving sufficient attention to where we are now. We talk to our children but think of the office or we spend time with our spouse paying attention to a disturbing WhatsApp at the same time. We really do need to learn to focus and be fully absorbed in "the now".
However, often great principles can be confused by similar sounding ideas that will lead us towards a negative outcome rather than a powerful one.
The same applies to this idea. We need to ensure that we don't confuse "living in the moment" with "living for the moment."
Living for the moment means living a pleasure seeking existence. It is the pursuit of what will bring us pleasure at any given moment without consideration of consequences, long term morality, meaning or purpose. It is a shallow reality resulting in transient delight and superficial, short lived happiness.
Living in the moment is entirely different. A meaningful life is one with a vision, a mission, and a long term plan to navigate life's journeys. It is an existence of constant growth and a decision making process where we learn from the past and consider the consequences of the future. Specifically because of this meaningful approach, it is a life where each step and each stage is fully maximised and experienced by living in the moment.
Se we need to learn to live in the moment but for a greater goal.