Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XVII:
"THE VALUE OF TIME"

"Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well-lived makes yesterday a memory of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope."

-- SANSKRIT

What is time? Could you describe it? Traditionally, time has been divided into three categories: Past, Present and Future.

Time is something intangible which is always moving forward and there is no available force to revert it. As time moves forward we must strive forward to keep up with its pace. When we procrastinate we rob our precious future of time. During a dialogue, Plato tells about the time when Pythagoras was asked about time, and he answered, "Time is the soul of the world." This is a beautiful and correct description of time, and time is something that man will never dominate. The most man can do is to capture each precious moment everyday and LIVE THE MOMENT.

Look around you, and you will discover that many people do not live but simply exist. These people will continue existing until their time ends, unless they experience something that convinces them that there is a purpose in their life. And you must live your life enjoying each moment of it. Only in this way will you have left your mark in posteriority.

Allow me to reproduce a beautiful poem by one of America's greatest poet, Henry Longfellow:

A PSALM OF LIFE

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! -
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem..

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our heart, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

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!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Footprints, that, perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

How well Henry Longfellow portrays life in these lines, life lived at its fullest. Benjamin Franklin created the often cited character of "Poor Richard" who stated the following: "Do you love life? Then, do not waste any time because that is what life is made of."

A persistent remembrance of the past and what it could have been is a waste of time. Instead concentrate on the present. Time must be lived RIGHT NOW. We are completely ignorant as to the amount of years we have been assigned and it is understandable that each time the clock's hands move forward, it brings us closer to the end. Does your life represent so little to you that you waste it in idleness as the clock ticks? In general the future is unknown, but if you were a clairvoyant you would see your future filled with happiness,if your thoughts and actions in the present are positive and optimistic. But if you do not have a solid noble attitude you are heading towards an abyss of sadness and bitterness.

March by the rhythm of time, always forward. It has been said that one time during a battle, Napoleon said this to a subordinate: "Gallop! And don't forget that the world was made in six days. You can ask me for anything you like except time."

Let us examine in detail the three categories of time: regarding THE PAST, let it go, it has been lost forever, although it is valuable to rationally reminisce about the past, to constantly dwell about past mistakes and tragedies, pleasurable moments and passed glories, is not only unpractical but foolish. All this is dead now, and it can not be recaptured. However, there is one way that you can use the past to learn from it. By learning from past mistakes one can prevent from making the same mistakes. Remember the past only with this purpose in mind. Do not allow past mistakes to trigger a state of fear. Instead use past mistakes as guiding tools for future endeavors.

THE PRESENT is of supreme value. One is in a condition to act NOW. Here you have the opportunity to be all you want to be. Do not practice procrastination because the moments you are living right now soon will be a thing of the past, and along with past hours which you will never enjoy again.

Each person has his own perspective on time. There are some who prefer to enjoy all kinds of sensual pleasures during the present time and leave the future to take care of itself. Others, with a stoic philosophy believe in personal sacrifice and believe that in the future they will be rewarded with blessings. In my opinion both attitudes are wrong, it is not the libertines nor the mystics who have the correct attitude. Rather, the correct attitude is the one that take advantage of the present time which will bring well being and peace when the present time becomes part of yesterday. The art of turning each morning into a "present now" is what will bring success. I repeat it again the important time is the present time. Yes, live each day fully reflecting about the past, but think a lot more about the future, always enjoying each present moment because the moment is saturated with the expression of your potential.

Idleness will never amount to anything worthwhile. Do you believe an idle person is happy? I assure you this person is not happy. It is understandable if a person rests, but if the person is idle every minute, then, this person is an unsatisfied exhausted being who is only existing. Boredom is the product of their idleness. Sometimes these people try to entertain themselves and invent strange symptoms such as aches and pains. This is the way they get attention. Although, it is true we all try to get attention from others, the correct manner is by accomplishing something.

Remember, prowess and procrastination are incompatible.

MAKE A SELF ANALYSIS:

Have you allowed laziness and fear to lessen your efficiency?

IF YOU HAVE DECIDED TO LOOK FOR PROGRESS:

How can you arrange your schedule and change your habits with the intention to use your time more effectively? How much time do you spend in vain and on unproductive endeavors, instead of using this time to improve yourself?

HOW DO YOU INTEND TO REACH HAPPINESS?

By turning every morning into a "present time" or by satisfactorily accomplishing your daily mission? Are you wishing that happiness comes to you as a result of your present efforts and behavior which could be either sacrificial or carefree?

CHAPTER XVIII