The light turns green, but the do not walk sign is red, being the rogue walker that I am, I "gracefully" jog across the road going with traffic as a new text pings in my ear bud.
I take the phone out of my pocket and - ok - one second, just one second please.
There are wonders of this device we call smartphone that we take for granted, but this feature always amazes me. As I take it out of my pocket, it knows to light up the screen, and if I put it back in my pocket, it knows to shut the screen down. It's like that guy who turns the light on for us when we open the refrigerator door.
They've managed to electronically clone him. Another job lost to modern technology.
The text from my brother is a quote from Arsene Wenger, the manager of his favorite football team, Arsenal.
“The only moment of possible happiness, is the present. The past gives regrets. And future uncertainties. Man quickly realised this and created the religion. It forgives him what he has done wrong in the past and tells him not to worry about the future, as you will go to paradise.”
My bother prefaces the quote by saying that Arsene would be at his dinner table along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Muhamad Ali, Cornell West, Bill Clinton and Edwige Danticat.
Hmm, Cornell West's train seems to run on one track. One's childhood heroes never die - "Ali is Eternal". I read Ms. Danticat's first book in one sitting. And Bill, what can one say about him that hasn't been said, except for, hopefully, First husband.
As for my own personal list of the individuals I would love to have dinner with - I don't have one.
I've circled back and I'm on the final mile of the walk, thinking about how I can tell my brother that I don't fully agree with Arsene's quote, - yes it's well thought out, an interesting look at religion's purpose, but I don't subscribe 100% to its doctrine.
Telling my brother how I truly feel about it would raise up a stink, one that I don't want to smell and clean up. I instead send this reply.
"Cool take! Arsene thinks like he looks, Aristotle!"
He then repleies "He is Da man, Le Boss"!!
Do you consider me not telling him exactly how I feel a lie?
Because I don't believe the present by itself is the only place where happiness exist. I am here today because of the past - I didn't just materialize out of thin air, without any history. I don't blow my brains out because I believe in the future and want to see it! The present is a combination of the past and future, relatively speaking and proven by Einstein.
Philosophers, life trainers, gurus etc. profess and teach the benefits of staying in the present because we tend to dwell too much in the past (blame, regret) and future (worry, fear). They find the best medicine/advice is to ignore the past and future, live in the present only. It's the easiest way to enjoy the fruits of life and experience that magical thing we call happiness.
Bullshit! (Hey, watch your mouth, that's uncalled for)
Forgetting something that did happen and ignoring something that will happen is foolishly depriving the experiment that is life.
I find it best to enjoy the moment which consists of all three entities. The past which is made up of all the seasons I've been alive. The future which anticipates all my remaining years. They are both tied together by the present which is almost immeasurable, because the moment you think about it, - the present - it's already the past.
I strive to remember yesterday with gratefulness, look at today with joyfulness and plan for tomorrow with thankfulness.
And yes, lying by omission is still a lie - I left out Ellen Johnson Sirleaf because I had no idea who she was. I do now and a very impressive human indeed she is.