The Thought for the Day – J.R.R Tolkien

The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present…they were content with each good day as it came. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

We’ve been writing down quotes that we’ve liked since 1988. We can still remember writing down our first one, in a spiral notebook in a motel room in Berkeley, California. We were in our early 20’s and can still remember hemming and hawing about whether or not to do it.

Deep down, we knew we should, so we did. Eventually, the notebook gave way to saving it by putting a floppy disk in our word processor and storage improved as technology increased to the point where if you know where to look you can find it online, though good luck with that.

We’ve quoted The Lord of the Rings before here, including recently, and we will probably do it many times in the future. We didn’t bother to count the exact number of quotes it yielded, but it is certainly the most by a book not written by Gore Vidal.

Today’s Thought comes from a portion of the book where Frodo and the gang were enjoying a respite from their labors. There perilous journey to deliver the ring would continue, but not immediately. They chose not to worry about the grim prospects of their upcoming journey, which they knew would be fraught with peril. They chose to enjoy each good day as it came.

We should do the same thing. We cannot let our goals for the future obstruct our enjoyment of the present. Of course, there is a lot to accomplish in this life. Regardless of our goals, we all have a purpose for our time on this planet and we have an obligation to find out what that is and to go and do it. If we don’t, all we are doing is stringing together a mindless procession of aimless days.

…they were content with each good day as it came.

We can’t let our plans for the future so dominate our present that we forget to enjoy the good days life regularly rewards us with. We can’t spend so much time planning for old age that we forget to enjoy middle age.


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