lightly we give our word and make promises,
oblivious of the fact that the future is not
ours to see! If promises are made at all, they
should be made conditionally, with an ‘if’
or ‘providing that’, for we cannot
possibly compute or imagine all the things that
might happen between now and then that could
prevent us keeping the promise; moreover, we
must be sure of our capacity and intention to
do what we say we will do.
we do, and must, make plans for the future,
the uncertainty and changefulness of life means
that they can only be tentative, and we should
therefore sit loosely in the saddle, aware of
the dangers and pains of attachment and inflexibility.
We can live neither in the future nor in the
past, no matter how hard we try; the only time
we can live is NOW. J. of N. said: "Take
no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow can take
thought for the things of itself. Sufficient
to the day is the evil [or problems] thereof".
Good advice, yes, but it must be understood
clearly, for if everyone followed it literally,
we would soon be in trouble; nobody would plant
crops of any kind, build houses, or do work
that had no immediate fruit. The NOW grows out
of everything that went before it; we must know
the nature of what we are doing, and also the
possible consequences thereof. "We are
the results of what we were; we will be the
results of what we are", said the Buddha.