As the philosopher Norman Cook espoused in 1998, the importance of being present cannot be overstated.
Right Here, Right Now
Being right here, right now is incredibly important because the present moment is the only time when you can actually do something. While we should certainly learn from the past, the past cannot be changed. While we should certainly plan for a positive future, we are not in the future. This gives us reason to focus ourselves in the present moment.
Being right here, right now is where we can make meaningful decisions and take action that will impact our future happiness. Through the mechanism of karma, we change our future. Through our positive actions we create future happiness and through our negative actions we create future suffering. We should take pause to think about the actions that we are taking right here, right now.
Present To Our Actions
What are positive and negative actions? Simply put, an action is determined to be positive or negative if it has a positive or negative affect on other people. An action that brings happiness to others is positive and an action that brings suffering to others is negative. We should think through our actions and the affect our actions will bring to others.
Typically we focus on the short-term affect of our actions, such as a small donation made to support a charity. But we should also consider that by supporting a charity it will mean that the charity will continue to survive and continue to be available next year. We must use our intelligence to consider the long-term affect of our actions, and either rejoice in our actions that bring happiness to others and reconsider our actions that eventually bring suffering to others.