On Life and Assumptions

By | September 30, 2021
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On Life and Assumptions

We are all, I think, a little bit crazy. We live our lives based on assumptions. We think that everything will always be as it is right now, and we take no thought when we do those simple everyday things … that this may be the last time we ever do them.

We get up in the morning and we leave for work and assume we will return home again that evening.

We leave on business trips and assume we’ll return when our work is done.

We mow our lawns, and we assume we’ll be around next week to mow our lawns again.

We leave our loved ones, our children, our best friends, assuming we will see them again.

We become complacent in our assumptions – yet our individual worlds are as insubstantial and fleeting as the clouds above our heads.

Our assumptions are as fleeting as a perfect summer day.

We assume we’ll see the sunrise tomorrow morning. We assume we’ll be home for dinner tonight. We assume our children will grow up and have families of their own. We assume we will retire. And we know will die someday having lived a full and fruitful life.

We assume that tomorrow will come it will be another day like today. One day melds into the next day and into the next day, and into the next one, and so on.

The perfect, flowing river of time and life – everything flowing smoothly – assuming everything but knowing not a thing about tomorrow. We all know things will happen to change that smooth idyllic river; we know it yet we continue with our days as if we had an endless supply of them.

Eventually, that smooth flowing river of life will tumble over rocky cliffs, get caught in swirling whirlpools — sometimes of our own design – or run the gamut of tricky, deadly rapids that we just didn’t foresee.

And yes, some assume the worse – those who in nature’s attempt to bring balance to life, I guess – assume that every day will bring a new tragedy, a new sadness, a new sickness, or a new disappointment.

Yet even these lost and forlorn assume that there will be a tomorrow, that they will get up in the morning, that they will live to see another day. They may live in trepidation and fear over what the dawn may bring, but still, they assume the dawn will come.

The only thing you have for sure is this moment. And that’s all you have. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow may never come. But if you allow yourself to worry about something that may happen next week, next month, next year, you stand to ruin all the days in between.

We just don’t know if we have a tomorrow, or what tomorrow will bring.

Was it Shakespeare who said, and I paraphrase: “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but one.”? Worrying about tomorrow only ruins the only thing you have for sure — and that is this moment in time.

Whether we are the kind of person who assumes the best, or the kind of person who assumes the worst, every one of us lives a life full of assumptions. Life is a series of assumptions, sprinkled with hopes and dreams, and fears and worries. Our lives are an odd porridge of assumptions, hopes, fears and dreams… and love.

We live today assuming there will be a tomorrow, a next week, a next month, a Thanksgiving, a Christmas. We assume we’ll go to bed tonight and we assume we’ll get up tomorrow morning. It’s OK we live on assumptions because without them life would be a sad stream of sadness and worry. We can only plan for the future because we assume we have a future.

We assume that those who love us today will love us tomorrow and the next day, and the next month, and the next year.

Time gets lost in our assumptions and we are surprised when our assumptions are wrong. We are crazy and we are foolish, yet this is the way we were meant to be.

We all live life on the wings of assumptions – wings painted with a delicate brush full of the colors of life, the colors of hope, and the colors of our dreams.

Yet, subtly we are restrained by the fear of the unknown. We can only assume that what is true today will be true tomorrow. And we base our lives on that assumption.

So I say: Hold on to what you believe and assume that tomorrow will bring a better day than today. Assume the best and prepare for the worst. The world can be both a beautiful place full of love and warmth or an ugly place full of hatred and coldness. The world is full of people just like you and me, all living their lives based on assumptions. We all assume and dream and hope and die. But don’t let anyone steal your dreams, kill your hopes, or destroy your assumptions.

We all wear masks, and not one of us shows our true self to the world. But it is also true that everything you imagine to be real is real. Try to imagine beautiful things. Assume that greater things will happen tomorrow. Go ahead and assume tomorrow will come. If it doesn’t, it won’t matter.

You know in your heart that assuming the worst about tomorrow only ruins today.

The one thing that is not an assumption is that the love you give will always outlive you. Love is the only thing you leave behind; it remains untouched by your assumptions or the brutal hand of time. So maybe the greatest truth of all is that love is the only truth.

Tomorrow may never come, and we know it. Yet if we worry about it, we ruin today. Today is all we have. Let’s make it a good day – one full of love, kindness, and hope. Feed someone’s dreams, give someone hope, show someone your compassion. And today show the ones you love how much you love them… because tomorrow may never come.

And my last assumption is a hope…

I hope that the love I leave behind will be greater than the life I lived.

4 thoughts on “On Life and Assumptions

  1. Maxine Hunt

    Seems to me that the older I get the more I realize that tomorrow is not a given. Maybe because I have lived through many rough days and uncertain tomorrows I understand that a good today is valued above any planning that may seem to provide security for tomorrow. I tell my children when they worry that by next week or next month or next year this crises will have passed and resolved itself somehow.
    I love the part in your essay where you conclude that ‘if tomorrow doesn’t come it won’t matter anyway”. Not to us.
    So many of my friends and family have passed on. If I could spend just one more day with them what a good day that would be! I hope when I’m gone that someone will wish they could spend one more day with me.


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