Prompt 013: In The Moment, or Not
13. It's been said that to be happy, you have to live in the moment. Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? How well do you think you live in the moment and why do you believe that?
I agree with this sentiment. If you always take the long view, all of the time, then there is no joy or contentment in the present moment.
You don't have to be a blatant hedonist to enjoy yourself every once in a while. At the same time, you don't have to be an inconsolably depressed nihilist to shake off temptations of optimism found through the lenses of rose-coloured glasses. I mean, your life may be shit, you may be in constant, chronic pain, you may be in debt. But a hot chocolate always tastes sweet.
For example, I think there is no more appropriate a phrase for today in particular, than "live in the moment." In most of the developed world, today is celebrated as Christmas. I personally don't celebrate, but my family and coworkers almost all do. I'm not going to sulk my way through the office Christmas party, scowl at every Christmas tree I see, or correct people with a scathing, "Don't you mean HAPPY HOLIDAYS?!?!?!"
So people tell me, "Merry Christmas." So I receive Christmas cards. I just might say, "Merry Christmas" back to them. And of course I thank them for their gifts and cards. So what? That doesn't mean I celebrate, and it certainly doesn't mean I worship their god, any more than if I wish someone a Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa or whatever.
This is how some people show their appreciation for others, and show them that they care. My coworkers are some of the most gracious, hard-working, resilient, and patient people I know. Most of them happen to follow the Christian faith. Now is the time they share their happiness, their affections, and their well-wishes with those they work with. Who am I to tell them to piss off? The fact that they know I'm an atheist, but still want to associate with me is grace itself (well, the fact we're all pretty good at our day jobs is also a good reason for us to all work together in relative harmony). There's nothing wrong with showing hospitality and courtesy to them, and it doesn't compromise my personal beliefs to do so. It certainly doesn't absolve the Christian faith from its may wrongdoings, crimes, and falsehoods. But in the name of common sense, I can hold off on religious debates, so long as no one attempts to convert me.
Today is a day people show grace and care to those all around them, no matter what their current state of affairs may be. To do otherwise is likely ignorant or just plain mean. Nobody likes to work with an insufferable prick.