Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Best Time -- Writer's Poke #410





Many people, I suspect, believe that the present is the top of the mountain. This moment in time, in other words, is the apex of human civilization. We have achieved more than any other age, and we should be forever grateful that we were lucky enough to be born at this moment, and not a moment sooner. 

Not everyone feels that way, of course. Some people might feel a connection to another time and place. In Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, for example, Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, is a writer who feels a strong connection to the 1920's Paris of Hemingway. 

Gil has the opportunity to somehow travel back to the 1920's, and while it seems to be everything he dreamt it would be, the 1920's woman he falls in love with has her own dream of living in Paris during an even earlier age. For her, the 1920's isn’t anything special. 

Perspective. It has a funny way of changing how we see our world. Maybe our time is the best, maybe it’s not. Maybe the town we live in is “special” and maybe it is "boring," but much of the truth in these assessments resides in our perspective.

Consider this. To be satisfied with our lives, we must be willing to imagine that here and now must always be better than anywhere else and anywhen else. The reason is simple: Here and now is all we have. Unlike Gil, we will never be magically transported to 1920's Paris. While the present moment may not be better than any previous moments in history, we should seize it and be willing to live as though it is.

How can you make the best use of your here and now?

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

1 comment:

  1. At least I like the cartoon. Losing his positive attitude offers little hope of benefiting him.

    I would not, as far as the other question, discount the idea that our thoughts and actions can lead us to a better tomorrow. Maybe not mankind in general, us -- ourselves and maybe our immediate families. Thoughts and actions do have consequences don't they? Why can't those consequences be some sort of improvement in our tomorrows?

    ReplyDelete