Today's Tao touched me particularly. Likely because I am a lover of rivers. I live in a city through which the Missouri River flows. I have a deep love and lifelong love affair with the Little Missouri River and in the past twenty or so years that has been extended to the big one.
From 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao
The river, surging course,
Headwater, channel, mouth.
Can they be divided?
Each day, we all face a particular problem. We must validate our past, face our present, plan for the future.
Those who believe that life was better in the "old days" sometimes are blind to the reality of the present; those who live only for the present frequently have little regard for either precedent or consequence; and those who live only for some deferred reward often strain themselves with too much denial. Thinking of the past, present, and future is a useful conceptual technique, but ultimately they must be appropriately balanced and joined.
We must understand how the past affects us, we should keep the present full of rich and satisfying experiences, and we should devote some energy each day to building for the future. Just as a river can be said to have parts that cannot be clearly divided, so too should we consider the whole of our time when deciding how to spend our lives.