Pleasure from indulging ourselves is momentary.

Guilt from having done so lasts much longer. 

Eating an entire bag of chips, browsing online and impulsively buying a new gadget, hitting snooze on the alarm clock as we burrow back into the sheets—all are done because we feel entitled to them.

Perhaps we had worked hard and felt a reward was deserved.

Perhaps we hadn’t worked hard and sought to distract ourselves from self-reproach.

Perhaps we were unhappy.

Or just bored.

And so we indulged ourself and felt a surge of enjoyment. All too soon, however, that momentary pleasure passes and only the memory remains. And with it guilt. Having previously determined the futility of such indulgences, we had told ourselves we wouldn’t repeat them. And yet, we just did. Feelings of frustration, remorse, embarrassment fester within us. They linger, enduring far longer than any fleeting satisfaction from our latest bout of indulgence.

What can we do?

Understand we have more work to do, commit ourselves to doing it, and get to work.



It’s a lot easier to think before acting

than it is to find a good friend. 

Thanks to most of us having had parents who learned good manners from their own parents, we were taught how to behave in public. And so, as adults, we are civil when interacting with strangers and acquaintances.

But it would seem we either find this degree of civility too difficult to maintain or we simply forget to. Ironically, we feel so relaxed with those whom we spend the most time with, we allow courtesy to fly out the proverbial window. We end up treating strangers more respectfully—and considerately—than we do family members and friends.

While relatives would find it difficult to leave us, friends have fewer such restraints. Although it would cause them distress, they can simply walk out of our life. And be gone. All because we forgot to treat them with respect and consideration. We should remember close friendships are rare and need tending.

Having few good friends, we can’t afford carelessness, can’t afford to lose a good friend. 



To drift or to steer—

which will we choose? 

Due to our karmas in past lifetimes, we have set the course of our current life.

But that course isn’t fixed. We have the ability to change it through the many choices we make every day. It’s like adjusting the flow of a river. By placing enough stones on one side or the other, we can alter what had seemed inevitable. To accomplish this depends on how many stones we choose, their size, and where we situate them. Dropping them haphazardly, we might re-direct the river toward nearby houses. Positioning them wisely, we could guide the water toward a field in need of irrigation.

Why not just let the river take its course? Because we get precious few opportunities to consciously direct it and, thus, make things better. For the vast amount of time we are too caught up in suffering, or in very rare instances too immersed in enjoyment, to understand what is happening.

And so we get swept along, unable to save ourselves, or others.