An interesting concept was introduced to me a week or so ago.
Some languages are what one would refer to as “tense” languages; not meaning that they convey stress particularly well (haha), but that they make adjustments grammatically when referring to past, present, or future.
Other languages make no changes grammatically, but add a word indicating past, present or future.
So: It rained yesterday, it is raining today, it will rain tomorrow; vs. It rain yesterday, it rain today, it rain tomorrow. (Actually, it’s snowing right now, which is absolutely ridiculous even if it is Michigan in April, but that’s beside the point.)
The people in the countries with languages with no grammatical differences between past, present, and future are substantially better at planning for such things as retirement. The theory is that, as there is no differentiation between now and then, the residents are better able to recognize that their actions today will impact their lives tomorrow and beyond.
I found this to be incredibly fascinating, and important.
Because really, there is nothing, no thing, that exists only in the past, the present, or the future. Every single thing that has happened to us affects who we are; every single thing that we do today will affect, in one way or another, what happens tomorrow and next week and next month and next year.
(I suppose, if you really look at it closely, whether we had a peanut butter and jelly or salami sandwich on September 5th in 4th grade is irrelevant, but I’m sure you know what I mean.)
It’s funny, though, because all this really does is convince me of how important it is to pay attention.
This sunny day, this full moon, this moment on the couch with Husband, this great book to read or knitting project or fabulous glass of wine with a really good dinner. Fifteen minutes in the hot tub. Digging in the dirt to plant flowers and vegetables (if it ever stops snowing). A good night’s sleep. Balancing buying the Perfect Pair of Shoes
with saving for retirement.
That sort of thing.
This train of thought always reminds me of