Tomorrow is a Working Hypothesis

September 27, 2007 at 9:03 pm 1 comment

I keep thinking about a story my friend told me recently. She and her husband were taking a yoga class together, and one evening after class they parted ways to go to their respective cars. He was crossing a crosswalk behind two other members of the yoga class when a car ran the red light and plowed the two classmates down; one was killed instantly, the other barely survived. Right in front of my friend’s husband.

In the next yoga class, the teacher and the other students discussed the tragedy, my friend told me. And the yogi said to them: “Tomorrow is a working hypothesis.” This experience, and this message, helped my friend make a major career/life decision.


Last week, I took my daughter to our local mom-and-pop natural foods store. We go there 2-3 times a week and know all the employees by name. My daughter’s favorite is Carlos, a young 20-something man with a bright spirit who is clearly getting his life together, working every day at the store to help pay child support for his 5-year-old son, whom he raves about, and going to tech school at night.

It was the second time in a week we hadn’t seen Carlos when we were shopping, and my daughter wanted her usual game of “Peekaboo” with him. So, I asked the clerk, Mary, if everything was OK with him.

“Did you hear about that car crash on Route 76 last week?” Mary said.

“No,” I said, my stomach turning over.

“It was bad. A drunk driver killed Carlos’ father. And the drunk driver died, too,” she told me. Carlos’ mother, who was in the car, was badly hurt as well.

I must’ve said the typical, “Oh my goodness,” clapped my hand over my mouth.

“The cars looked as bad as Princess Di’s,” Mary continued. “Carlos’ family had a car wash fundraiser on the weekend to raise money for the funeral.”

My heart ached at the news. Among other thoughts, the word’s of my friend’s yoga teacher ran through my head: “Tomorrow is a working hypothesis.”


We’ve all heard these stories, or experienced something like them. (My memory flashes to almost being run down in a crosswalk last year — while quite pregnant, walking with a friend pushing her baby in a stroller — by a teenage driver who ran a red, right in my own neighborhood.)

We know people die every day, we know we could die any time. And, yet, our egos still help us believe we will be here tomorrow, and so will our loved ones. These things happen, then we forget and go back to “normal.”

It’s a tricky business, living as if each day could be our last. We want to plan for longevity. We want to make smart decisions for our financial future and long-term health. And, yet, there are no guarantees.

So, what if we lived knowing, truly knowing, that tomorrow is a working hypothesis. Would we do anything differently? Would what we have seem more like enough?

P.S. Thanks, all, for the good sleep thoughts. We’re having a much better week!

Entry filed under: Life.

Success = Sleep The Art of Learning, The Heart of Success

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Heather  |  October 3, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    This reminds me a lot of the work I’ve been doing lately on our campus related to students with disabilities. I’m surprised how often I hear really offensive, ignorant comments about people with disabilities “abusing the system.” The irony, of course, is that too few of them are even served by “the system”. I remind people that we are all only temporarily able, and we should strive to create the world we would want to live in if something happened tomorrow to change that.
    Keep up the great work, Megan, you really get me thinking.


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Blog Mission

To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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