I love to daily walk my neighbourhood with my youngest grandson in his stroller.
I live on a mountaintop and as I walk, I pass the entrance to a rain-forest and then look down the slopes to the coast and out to sea. One of the reasons I like to walk this walk is that I can’t help but be grateful. I have much to be grateful for: a safe and beautiful place in which to live, the closeness of my family, and the wealth of free time just to be with my grandchildren. These things are the most obvious to me, but there is much more that flows when I “count my blessings”.
From this vantage point I notice things and I am intrigued by them. For example, Nietzsche in “Schopenhauer as Educator” (1873) wrote:
“…if the future gave us no hope for anything--our own existence now must encourage us most strongly to live according to our own laws and standards: it is an inexplicable fact that we live precisely today, and had an infinite time to develop--nevertheless, we possess only a short-lived today to show why and to what end we evolved”
Crises and dysfunction in the environment, politics and a fragmented world easily deceive us into thinking that there is no hope – but there is hope. It comes down to us. That is why Nietzsche encourages us to “most strongly” live by our best lights. After all, we only ever have a “short-lived today”.
There is hope for the future. It is us. Our thoughts, words and actions - how “we live precisely today”, is all the evidence our children and grandchildren need.
Dr Michael Downey is an Author, Teacher, Consultant, Retreat Leader & Workshop Facilitator. ,