So we are left only with the certainty of today as we can never reach “tomorrow.” We even teased each other with this knowledge. “See you tomorrow.”
“Really? Don’t you know that tomorrow never comes?”
“Duh!” Of course, tomorrow never comes. Even a six-year-old knows that. But do we as adults understand and recognize the dangers of living for tomorrow?
For the hope of a better tomorrow, it is estimated that as many as 50 million people were murdered to further the cause of communism, to bring about a “better world,” in Russia, China and other countries.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, more than eight million Jews were murdered as Hitler promised future glory where Germans would become the supreme race that would rule the world.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were buried in mass graves in Iraq so that those in power could enjoy untold treasures.
Of course, these are global atrocities — atrocities that we certainly would never be guilty of committing. Such behavior is outside the scope of decent people like ourselves. Or is it? Perhaps the difference is partly one of opportunity. Think of how easily we can justify deception and potential harm as we look beyond today to tomorrow.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, a teenage boy persuades a teenage girl to give up her virginity with the sweet language of love that promises a future commitment which in all likelihood will never materialize.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, a college student cheats on a test justifying that doing so will bring the coveted degree that will open his future to the job he really wants.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, a man lies to his employer to land a job that dramatically increases his earning potential.
For the hope of a better tomorrow, a man lies to his wife believing that a relationship based on deception is better than no relationship at all.
These are only a few examples of how a belief in a better tomorrow can encourage us to justify present behavior for the hope of a better tomorrow.
How do we become vulnerable to such justifications? There are some warning signs. Are you always trying to get somewhere other than where you are? Is most of your “doing” a means to an end?
Is fulfillment always just around the corner or confined to short-lived pleasures such as sex, food, drink, drugs, thrills, or excitement? Are you always focused on becoming, achieving, and attaining, or chasing some new thrill or pleasure?
Do you believe that if you acquire more things you will become more fulfilled, good enough, or psychologically complete? Are you waiting for someone else to give your life meaning?
Remember what you knew as a child. Tomorrow never comes. Living for tomorrow at the very least is a certain guarantee to suck the vibrancy, the vitality, the freshness, the joy, the very sense of wonder out of today and at the very most a justification for immoral, unethical and unthinkable behavior.