The way to a better future

The future can be better than the present and we can play a part in bringing about that future — this hope empowers us to face life’s many challenges. How can that hope become a reality?

Unfortunately, we can’t know for sure what the future will bring — the world is too complex and life is too unpredictable and we are all too small. Still, we all have the power to do one thing: use the present better. If we do the best we can in the present, we are creating the most reliable foundation for a better future. Students who study diligently, professionals who work industriously, parents who care meticulously for their children — all such people are contributing to creating a brighter future, not just for themselves but also for the world at large. 

But can’t all our present efforts be wiped away by the world’s vagaries such as deceit, destruction and ultimately death? Not really. Gita wisdom expands our vision of the future beyond the material level and beyond this lifetime. We are eternal spiritual beings and the good we do will surely fructify in the future, for us individually and for society collectively. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.37) indicates that if we cultivate the necessary discipline and commitment even if it sometimes feels like poison, we will eventually relish achievement and fulfillment that will feel like nectar. 

It’s easy to let ourselves live subpar, distracted and dissipated by our mind internally and the world externally. It’s tough to turn away from the world’s clutter and the mind’s chatter to focus on the things that matter. To the extent we toughen ourselves in our present, to that extent we brighten our future. 

One-sentence summary:

The most reliable way to a brighter future is through a tougher today.

Think it over:

  • What hope gives us reason to face life’s challenges?
  • Can the world’s vagaries lay waste to all our present efforts?
  • What poison do you need to drink now to get to nectar in the future?

***

18.37: That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.

Author: Chaitanya Charan

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