Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
I’ve written before about my love for Longfellow’s Psalm of Life, but the third line of this stanza is speaking to me today.
All we can do in a day is act, or not act. Look at the world directly in front of us, and take useful action in the present moment.
Whether it’s volunteering for a political campaign you believe in, writing music when you’d rather be watching Friends, or taking a leap with your students by performing at a conference – action is what’s required to make the world better. Don’t wait for some perfect future, and don’t dwell on the failures of yesterday: take your action today.
I celebrate you who are taking action, and strive to be one who acts every day.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.