The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Mel White 

Just for today... a reminder

On the Bright Side


With all that is going on in the world – and in our state and even in our own little mountain town – that most of us describe as uncertain or scary or challenging... or all of the above, it's refreshing to know that a lot of good things continue to happen as well, and a lot of good thoughts and inspirational messages are always circulating out there.

One of those messages I'd like to share with you today came to me some years ago from a family friend, Dolores, who said she got it from her mother many decades ago. In researching it today to see if I could give credit where credit is due, I found that no one seems to know who really wrote it, but one of the earliest findings of a column written by Frank Crane ("Dr. Crane Says") in the Boston Globe in 1921, has the most closely matching verbiage.

I see this wonderful piece now and then in emails and on facebook, and I love it every time I see it (I need these kinds of reminders often). Like many teachings, although it has been around for at least a century, it is just as true and appropriate for us today as it ever has been for anyone.

This is the version I am most familiar with:

"Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life's problems at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

"Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said: 'Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.'

"Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study, I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

"Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways. I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don't want to do – just for the exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but just for today I will not show it.

"Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

"Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests – hurry and indecision.

"Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

"Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me."

That last line especially (I see it as yet another version of the Golden Rule) may be the key to actually changing the world we live in. Today, especially, while we are worried about everything from the possibility of nuclear war to simple human rights and dignity, it is good to remember that it is still okay to see the beauty that is in our lives right now. If we find love and joy in ourselves and those around us – and we send that message on out into the world – then that's what will come back to us.

One day at a time, being in the moment, carpe diem – there are a million ways to say it, but no matter how you say it, this is a good reminder that all you have to do is start with "just for today."

© Marilda Mel White. Mel, local writer/photographer and co-owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove, has been looking on the bright side for various publications since 1996. She welcomes your comments at


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