Sick Of Over Simplified Cliches: Don't Live For The Moment

The more philosophical conversations I have the more I come into contact with this annoying over simplified cliche. People keep saying things like "just enjoy for moment" "live for the moment". I mean to me, it really is too simplified. Life is not this simple, neither is time as we know it. The basic paradigm we all have to live in is the past, present and the future. So what I say is live in the harmony of the trinity. The past: do not lament but reflect and learn. If you can the get past down you can nail the present: apply, act, be and do. The future: we not know it yet. If we do not take aim, how can we ever hope to ever get there in the future? The future encourages us to plan, to want more than we can possibly have today. The future can give us hope. Hope for a better today I say, do not live for the moment but live within a harmony of the trinity.

What most mean when they say 'live for the moment' is to be. To take the time to smell the roses. But to only do this and nothing else. Is pure hedonism. What can feel good now can hurt down the track. This is one reason why living only for the moment is so dumb. Fact is we live in a cause and effect world.

I am tired of over simplified cliches and getting brushed off by them.

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3 Responses Dec 21, 2009

Everyone has to strike their own balance between the three. That being said, I used to live in the past and future a lot; anything but the present. Few friends in hs, working toward getting into a good college, working to get A's in college all the time, missing home, crying over my past. Then after a messy 2 yr relationship, my first, I came out anew.<br />
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I started living in the moment to the fullest I possibly could. I began noticing trees, the way landscapes moved across space, made observations about gravity, about the nature of clothing, about the ordering of the middle of town, etc. I was having these mini moments of epiphany. To anyone who looked at me, I would've seemed crazed and like a child, but I became astonished by everything. Nothing could bore me. My eyes would glow and I thrilled to see things normally mundane as things offering more.<br />
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Really, when I live in the present, I live it to the fullest. I take all that I can get from it, and that's what I take living in the moment to mean. Not that we should do it all the time, but when we do, to really derive all that can be derived from it.

This is an interesting point,,,we really do live in world, where, living for the moment is on,,sometimes its annoying indeed, but- why not- after 500 hundred or so years of protestantism when we were told to work pray and keep the mouth shut,,,why not to have some fun at last. Some of us really need to learn how to enjoy ones life. <br />
But you are perfectly right about the problems,,,for the start,<br />
I think we need to look how brain works- brain, using the simplest description, is a prediction machine. it makes simulations of reality that might happen, whole number of scenarios in a fraction of second, and all these are shaped by what we experienced before. we can try to make plans without prior knowledge, but ist pointless,,no chance. if I never learned that cars can kill me, I would never be able to live in a city for one day.<br />
we are certainly born with some innate ability to survive, but being without cultural knowledge that was built in the last milion years (and passed culturally, not genetically), we would be lost.<br />
we would not be able to use fire, find food, use knife, nothing. we need past to plan for the future at all times.<br />
Living for the moment actually decreases our odds to survive. we did not learn from history= we are lost in the future. It comes from basic understanding of social biology. Traditionally, people who ignore past and dont care about the future most are IDIOTS- people with high level of narcissism and positive ilusions about their actions. They live for the moment and hence are they the biggest thread to humanity.

that's an awesome way of thinking, KittyBitty. You're right that "living in the moment" is oversimplified, and when taken literally, it can cause a lot of really bad problems (things like pollution come to mind as something that may not have an immediate effect, but ultimately causes serious things like climate change, to name one example)<br />
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Appreciating the present moment, and not dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future is great- but denying the past and not caring about the future is not balanced, and will at some point negatively impact your present as well.