I can’t help but think that the world is out to get me. It’s human nature, and luckily, it only comes in short-term waves. What I am talking about is rejection. Loneliness. Fear. Candor. I am currently in the library, surrounded by students of whom I know nothing — just now realizing that most of them do not care, and will never care, about me. To them, I am nameless. Trivial. Disappearing.
However disheartening as this truth may be, it will never discourage me from living my best life. My best now. The power of now, as explained in Eckhart Tolle’s book titled ‘The Power of Now,’ is more important than any ounce of any sadness, fear or anxiety.
Sometimes the activities that are proven esteem-boosters may fail to live up to their expectations, such as sex, exercise or even indulging in the most comforting of foods. As I left the apartment of my latest sexual partner, I had a sentiment of nostalgia and sadness building inside of me that I’d never felt in this context before. I was furthermore surprised when I found this globally-common phenomenon had a name: post-coital tristesse. Sigmund Freud explained it as the realization that loneliness is inevitable — that there is no antidote. Each sexually-active individual is likely to come across this sensation at one point in their lives. Simply put, it is the epiphany that not even being as physically close to someone as possible can rescue us from our individual isolation.
The news is no aid in this search for the “opposite of loneliness,” as coined by the late Marina Keegan. National leaders are corrupt. Schools are targeted by acts of gun violence. Children are held captive in basements. What will save each and every one of us from our desolation and fear is this very moment — by living in the now.
After reading The New York Times’ bestselling book, ‘The Power of Now,’ I understood. I was initially hesitant when I found myself at a self-help shelf at the bookstore. It had seemed to me that this shelf was reserved only for the souls who dared to publicly admit to their vulnerability. And here I was, at the Rittenhouse Barnes & Noble, so vulnerably in touch with my reality.
With this book, the reader is taught how to live in the moment. The author fosters concepts that can ultimately lead to an enlightenment, if used zealously. One such concept is the radiance of a still moment. Tolle argues that a still moment is not a wasted moment, but a moment of inexplicable beauty. Moreover, he explains that problems such as anxiety and dread are feelings that arise when one fears what could happen. This fear is a waste of precious time, as it is not the now.
Tolle’s philosophy is one humanity should strive to live by. He emphasizes the practice of gratitude for the present. And while quite cliche, we must all remember that the present is — very fittingly — a present. We do not have to be isolated. We do not have to be anxious. We just have to be.