In 1986, John Hughes wrote a classic comedy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, about a high school wise guy who decides to take the day off school to explore Chicago, despite school policy. In the film, Hughes gave us several cinematic moments that call us to reexamine our lives. The most notable of these moments is when Ferris Bueller introduces, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
In an age of rapidly evolving technology, both distracting and consuming our attention, we find ourselves in a constant rush juggling an endless list of priorities each day. Too often, this causes us to forget that life is what’s happening right now. It’s as though we are riding in a car – we are either on our way back from somewhere or on our way to somewhere new.
How often do we take time to slow down so we don’t miss the moments in the now? Since it’s easy to get lost in our priorities, the key is to allow ourselves to realize and to enjoy what we are doing and when we are doing it.
I started to understand this philosophy when I was living in Washington D.C. last year. I had just gotten off the metro after my first day of work and was making my way to class. Little did I know, our classroom was only a block from the U.S. Capitol Building. Forty yards away, I noticed the cast-iron dome with rows of beautiful windows. This was unlike any other walk to class at Indiana University: I was walking next to some of the most important spaces in American history and architecture. As I stopped and looked around, I noticed that time began to slow down too. At that moment I realized that this was an act I needed to incorporate in my daily life – taking time each day to stop and embrace the simple moments and opportunities.
We should try to make time at least once a day to just BE and to take it all in – embrace the quiet, step outside for just a moment if stuck inside, watch the sky, or walk through the neighborhood. Each of these is in an integral part of the experience of life. If we are constantly busying ourselves, these simple opportunities for growth are easy to miss.
How often do you live in the now?