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What Matters- some thoughts
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
What matters in life is rarely considered unless by force of circumstance: a near death experience, a diagnosed illness or being abandoned by a loved one are good examples. We are all content to go about our lives, our daily tribulations, without the slightest consideration or appreciation for what matters most to us.
I suppose we are too overwhelmed with the trivial aspects of daily living: earning money, paying bills and getting through the small but necessary flotsam and jetsam of life. We say to our partners and children we love them, but rarely are those words heartfelt, rather a repetition of expected pleasantries. It sounds cruel to say, but real love, the experience of it and the thoughts associated with it are rare in a broad sense.
We may indeed love our loved ones, but the real feeling and expression of it is somehow downgraded in our physical life. Human pursuits are varied, but most revolve around acquiring money, gaining status or elevating ones position of employment. The arts are more directed to expressing love and the connection to emotion, but even they can in pursuit, reduce our connection with what matters most.
We have all been given the senses to both understand and connect to life and the world around us, yet we rarely use them to any extent. Again, we as physical beings take these aspects of life for granted, underestimating their power and revelation. What matters in life to me has little to do with anything physical. To me, our thoughts, emotions and ability to be empathetic and compassionate and experience love, are far more important than anything else. I sometimes wonder what people are doing seeking happiness in all the wrong places. Happiness is not the result of money, accomplishment or anything else, it is a state of mind that one adopts rather than gains through action.
Should a nuclear war leave our homeland desolate, turning it into a wilderness and forcing us to fight for survival, what would matter most to us? Should you lose your career and be penniless, forced to live on the street, what then would matter most to you? These scenarios do nothing but make us realise that our priorities in life are governed by circumstance. These circumstances are seen as physical ones, separate from our feelings and emotions.
Eventually we have to conclude that if something drastically changed in life, and circumstances were transformed, the one defining thing that would matter to us is our loved ones and relationships with people. After all that is our true connection with life, not our job, our hobbies or sports, but our connections with the people we love.
Perspective is often not easy to acquire when our lives are so complex, but I feel many of us are committing too much time to the minor needs in life. Rather, we should be devoting much more effort to the relationships and people that in the end define us as human beings. We are much more than the qualities of physical life; we are spiritual beings with a huge potential for love. Our capacities in this arena are virtually untouched and should we utilise them, the world would be a safer and more peaceful place.