Being a fan of Ayn Rand since my relatively recent reading of Atlas Shrugged, I have looked for other ways to incorporate her into my life, for opportunities to learn more about her and her ideas...hence the quote.
I came across this quote some time ago (meaning weeks), and have decided that I do like it..very much so...indeed...definitely YES!
While I have a very definite and solid belief in God and in the hereafter, and all the things that this belief constitutes and builds within my own vision of life after death, I do believe that Ayn is correct. Life is not for waiting for...life is not for later. Life is for now...now...and again NOW!
Can we afford to wait for heaven...for joy...for life to begin with all of it's perfections that we assume we will have in the hereafter? I say no. I think our mortal existence is meant for experience, for joy, for laughter, for learning, for sadness, for growing, for moving and seeing and feeling. So often we get lost in our day to day, living our plodding lives allowing them to grind along...and it is a miss for everything that is out there to be seen and loved and learned.
Of course, we have our chores, our tasks and our responsibilities. In order to be a successful and happy adult there are many things that must be accomplished and taken care of and we are better for it. I do believe though that sometimes the joy gets lost in the shuffle, and that is a tragedy, particularly if it persists day after day, week after week, month after month and, often sadly, year after year.
While a joyful life, carefree and devoid of sadness and tragedy is an impossible myth, living life in joy and delight is not. We each choose how to react to the world and the people in it. I'm not saying that we should not ever be sad or angry or upset...by all means, those emotions are good and human and often cathartic when used properly...but I also think that we choose too often to be angry for longer than we need to be. We often choose to blame others instead of opting for changing ourselves, our circumstances or our surroundings. Action and change is always more difficult than complacency and the status quo. We often choose to be sad and not find a way to climb out of this bucket, wallowing in this dark shadow for much too long.
I think our emotions and the length of time that we experience them are largely based on choice and by choosing to smile, and to be happy, and to push through the disappointments, sadnesses and tragedies, that we find we are able to make a happy and joyful oasis for ourselves that can be truly a heaven for us.
There will always be someone out there who has more than we do...always someone more beautiful, someone smarter, someone cleverer, someone wealthier, someone with whatever material delight may be our fancy in the moment...and instead of coveting and desiring and pining for what we do not have...why not enjoy life as it stands, making it beautiful and full of the things we can reach for around us...even while still working hard to achieve some of these other material desires?
I am happy because I choose to be. I have had tragedy and I have known despair. I have been sad and heartbroken and thought that life would never be the same...and I was right in that...life was altered and not the same...life did change...with each experience it changes, but I learned, and continued onward, looking for light and joy. For myself, being a happy person by nature, I also chose to continue along that path...to find delight and to find joy and to make it part of my daily life.
I don't have all of the money I would like to have, I drive an older car, but it is paid for...I could use a larger home with more room for entertaining...but in the end...my money pays my bills and allows me to responsibly care for my family, my car gets me where I need to go and the gas mileage is great...my home is often crowded to bursting with friends and family all cooking and laughing and talking together crowding in around the table with too many chairs too close together, with babies and children running about squawking and laughing and crying and always underfoot--but we are together and we are sharing life and love and joy. When it is quiet and everyone is sleeping, I feel the peace and joy that comes from a happy home where even when annoyed or ornery or blue, everyone loves each other and tries most of the time to be kind (all the time is obviously an outstanding human goal...).
Life is for living...it is for grabbing with both hands...it is for kissing and crying...it is for working and for playing...it is for loving and laughing and shouting...it is for sunlight and shadows...it is for tragedy and soaring ecstasy...it is for delighting in and sharing in and holding each other up together. Life is for being. Life is for learning. Life is for growing. Life is for now.
So I conclude with..."Ask yourself"...ask yourself what you love, what you want most...where is your joy...where is your delight? Where is your heaven? Do you wait for it to come to you in a place and time that cannot be told...or do you choose to make it here...and now?