Yesterday Died For You

Don’t let its sacrifice be in vain

Niklas Göke

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Photo by Jyotirmoy Gupta on Unsplash

In The Why Cafe, stressed cubicle worker John gets lost en route to his much-needed vacation. He ends up in a small diner in the middle of nowhere, where the friendly staff seems to be oddly clued-in not just about his trip but also his life in general.

Spending an entire night at the diner, John faces several existential questions — the kind that’s important to answer but easy to ignore in our busy everyday lives, and the staff helps him along the way.

Towards the end of his stay, John asks Mike, the cook and owner of the diner, when he first found himself confronted with life’s big questions. Mike explains that, a few years prior, he was just like John: ambitious, overworked, and scheduled down to the last minute.

Then, Mike took a month off after grad school and traveled to Costa Rica with a friend. One day, after an afternoon of bodysurfing at the perfect beach, the two sat on a log, ate fresh mangos, and watched the waves. “As the day wound down, we were relaxing and watching the sky turn from brilliant blue to pink, orange, and red, as the sun began to set,” Mike says. He realized:

“While I had been planning every minute of my life for the last two-and-a-half years, this scene had been repeating itself every day. Paradise had been just a few hours’ plane flight and some dirt roads away, and I didn’t even know it existed. Not only had it existed for the two-and-a-half years I’d been so busy, but the sun had been setting there, and the waves had been crashing upon that beach, for millions if not billions of years.”

For the first time in his life, Mike understood: Every day when the sun sets, today becomes yesterday — and yesterday is dead.

Reality has a habit of breaking up with us.

Every time the sun sets, another day leaves us, never to return. Sometimes it wants to go; sometimes it doesn’t. The day does not get a choice. When its 24 hours are up, like a mayfly, its only task left is to die.

Days are soldiers sent by the sun, each one equipped with a precise mission, a mission they can’t help but fulfill: Buy the human race time. 86,400 seconds, to be exact. For every moment the day fends off its inevitable demise, one…

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Niklas Göke

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: https://nik.art/