Now matters.

Many people — me being one of them — know (the hard way) that everything can change in an instant. Sometimes this is our own fault, and sometimes it is no fault of our own. We simply never know.

Star Trek VI referred to the future as “The Undiscovered Country.” Of all the metaphors I’ve heard for describing the future, that one is my favorite. And whether the future is full of optimism or challenges, it is on its way; it’s coming, and there is nothing we can do to stop it, like a locomotive rampaging down the tracks. Therefore, we can only encounter the future like explorers, ready for whatever new challenge may (or will) arise. The only certainty about the future is its uncertainty. Anything can happen; and at a moment’s notice, everything can change.

So is the future frightening? No, it’s exciting! Don’t worry about the future. The future will get here all by itself without our help. Let’s just enjoy what we have now while we have it. Stop for just a moment and look around. Look at what you have, look at who you have, and look at who has you! If 2016 taught us anything, it taught us that people — anonymous, famous, and infamous — are mortal and can be lost at any moment.

I think we have a tenancy to get into comfort zones in life that make us mindlessly mechanical, and as a result, we inadvertently take things and people for granted. We tend not to tell people how much they mean to us until we are saying it at their funeral, in their eulogy.

So today, tell someone, “I appreciate you,” and mean it. Appreciate someone today — NOW — as you stand in front of them, before it’s too late, and you’re saying it over their casket.

Now matters.

So don’t let now become then without giving a few hugs and sharing a few smiles.