Present v Future

Most of us teach and are taught that it is only the future that really matters.

-bell hooks – Teaching Community

bell hooks is right. We spend an immeasurable amount of time thinking about the future. In high school, it’s all about making it through and graduating and “freedom.” In college, it’s all about making it through to the real world and getting a job and making money. We often do not take the time to live in the moment and engage in what we’re doing now.

This is one of the things that I’m working on. I want to live more in the present when I can and be engaged with those around me when I know that things are changing. I think the concept is simple, but the implementation will be difficult. Don’t look at the time when you’re out with friends. Don’t think about all the things that you could be doing instead of sitting in class. Find joy and purpose in the things that you’re doing and learn.

bell hooks also talks about learning being treated a means to an end rather than a lifelong process. A little of that may have to do with the traditional pedagogy of study, homework, study, tests, study, repeat. Students have no choice but to view learning as a chore in that context, but shifting into being present could change that. I view learning as something that should continue long term no matter what degrees you may or may not have hanging on the walls (or sitting in an envelope on your bookshelf). It’s an important part of life that gets lost when we ignore the present in favor of the future.

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