We live on a floating rock: Live in the moment


Kate Stiens

Stop living through a screen and start living in the moment.

When you go to a concert (pre-COVID-19 times) and look at the crowd, what do you see? Of course everyone is enjoying the show, but at least half the audience has their phone out recording. Save the moment for later right? It’s always nice to look back in your camera roll and see the memories, but what about in the moment?

Why watch your life through a screen when you can live it at this very second? Technology has made it so difficult for us, but you have to weigh what’s more important: to live that very second to the fullest and make memories that you can tell stories about later, or try to get a clear shot between two people’s heads to take a video.

I am guilty of doing this, and it is always nice to have videos, but afterwards I regret not putting my phone away because I missed actually being there and enjoying the experience. 

It’s not just at concerts or sporting events. People in this generation prioritize getting a picture or video for their Instagram and Snapchat stories more than spending time enjoying reality with their peers. What is the point of meeting with people if the whole time you are going to be on your phone?

There are so many opportunities to enjoy life and make memories that are taken away by the simple buzz of a notification. 

One of my goals with this column is to inspire people to do things that are out of their comfort zone, to make memories to better themselves. But what is it all worth if you don’t experience it in the present?

Living in the moment, however, does not just mean putting your phone down. As Master Oogway from the iconic kids movie Kung Fu Panda says, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift! That is why it is called the present.”

Think about that.

When you think about things, what do you think about? For me at least, I am always either stuck on things that happened in the past or things that might have happened if I did something differently, and when I’m not thinking about the past, I’m thinking about the future. 

I try to control what is to come, but in reality nothing ever turns out the way you plan it to.

I never think about what is happening now. But I am trying to change that. How can you live in the moment if you are stuck on things that you cannot change or control? It is a hefty task to let go of the past and not worry about the future, but it is one of the most rewarding things to live in the present.

When you are old, you will regret if all you ever did was worry about the future. You might spend your entire teenage years devoting all your time to getting into a good college and worrying about the future. When you get to college, you might devote all your time to getting a good job. Worrying about the future. When you get to that job, you might devote all your time to working that job until you are old. Worrying about the future.

But what if when you get to that college or that job, you feel miserable? 

You just wasted all your time worrying about succeeding in getting that job. Thinking that was the only path to fulfillment in life.

Rather than worrying about the future, take life one step at a time. Worry about the present because you don’t know what the future will bring.

Close your eyes. If you were 80 years old at this very moment looking back on your life, what would you wish you had done differently? What do you regret not doing? Open your eyes. You are not 80 (or so I assume). Go out and do it.

We live on a floating rock. There is no reason not to.