It’s the close of another trimester and the twilight of this bizarre year. I always find it surreal to look back on the year and think about all the changes that have occurred in such a brief period of time. As life gets busier, time only passes quicker and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the rapid change, the plans for the future, and the yearning for the simplicity of times past.
Consequently, the only period of time that truly gets overlooked is also the most important — the present. After all, now is the only time that we can truly enact change, the only time that we truly exist. Southpark, the hit animated TV show, depicts the arrest of progress, due to nostalgia for a bygone era, as getting addicted to “(re)’member berries.” These berries constantly talk about how great times used to be, paralyzing people with yearning for a time and world that no longer exist. It’s a powerful message about how working with the present reality is the only way to ensure a better future.
Image source: teepublic.com
A more philosophical way to describe this is through the lens of the Tao — the way of nature — or as Alan Watts calls it, “the watercourse way.” The general premise is that all things in life, time included, work as a stream. Water, one of the “weakest” things on earth, is also the most powerful when working in a stream. A river carved the Grand Canyon from rock over millennia. Water works within its banks, for there is no strength without direction and no power in trying to stay in one place or leaping ahead. Change occurs when working with where we are, in the present. It’s all we truly can do. We must work within our stream.
Dr. Hodges gave us a reality check during our last lecture in Business and Marketing. He reminded us that we only have four trimesters left at NUHS. He implored us to get out there, meet doctors, and discover the practices that will work best for us. Graduation is coming quickly, and trying to tackle everything at once can be paralyzing. The best way to meet goals is to work in the moment, but don’t try to force things, see where the stream takes you and work with that, moment by moment.