Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Really Matters in Life

Like many others right now, I have been watching the news coverage of the devastation in Haiti. I feel so overwhelmed with heartache for the people. I can understand why so many feel like it must be that the end of the world is at hand.
In watching the news stories, one main theme keeps coming through loud and clear. Those people that have been rescued, that seemed moments from dying have all said the same thing. While waiting to be rescued or wondering if they would be found, they thought about family, about the relationships in their lives, about the time they spent with loved ones and many said, they when interviewed that from this point on, they planned to spend more time with family and loved ones and make it count. I have not heard one person say they spent those hours wondering if they would make it or not, thinking about all the "stuff" they would have to leave behind. There were no thoughts of big houses, how many designer shoes they owned or how perfectly tidy their house was. No one said their thoughts were about how they would miss their fancy new car or the new this or that they just bought. So, if our most important aspects of life are relationships, family, the kindness we have shown to others, how compassionate we have or have not been in our lives, then why on earth do we spend so much time pursuing the things that don't matter much and neglect to work on our relationships, our heart work !
Why would we spend more time organizing our closets than on mending relationships with our spouses, our children, both young and adult ? Why would we spend our weekends shopping when we don't spend time with our family ? Why would we spend mega dollars on going out to eat when we could be buying food for a hungry family or help out some struggling friend, no questions asked or no judgement passed on them ?
Why are we spending so much time and money on the things we will not need on our judgement day ? Which no matter what you believe religiously, there is a judgement of peers at our passing. What will be our legacy, what will be the discussion at our funeral ? What is your life really about, right now ? Is it how many this or that you own ? What kind of food you eat ?
If your house is gorgeous and you spend hours on it, but your children can't stand to be around you or you go to bed at night resentful of your spouse, or people avoid you, maybe things are not in order
Or is it about the love you share with your family, the gratitude you feel in your heart for how full of joy your life is ? At days end do you rest in bed for those moments before sleep thinking about how much fun it was to read to your little one, or do an extra kindness for someone. Perhaps think about how you could have been kinder to the clerk at the store and vow to be nicer next time. Or is your mind racing about how to have more of this or more of that and work harder, make more money ? Is the last thought of the day one of gratitude for something that cannot be bought with money, but only fostered and nurtured with love ?
What really matters in life is what we should be working on, striving for, setting goals for.
We can learn a valuable lesson from those folks that have looked death square in the eye and discovered what life is all about . It sure has me thinking and more aware of what I am pursuing in life.

My Aunt Jeannine and my Great Grandfather, it shows they knew what mattered


Marianna said...

Compelling words Patty.

marci said...

Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them!

Renee said...

Wonderful post!

Asiyah said...

Nicely worded.

kykathy said...

Well said, Patty, well said...and I love the phot!

Bea said...

Dear Patty,

Thank you so very much for this wonderful, compelling wake-up post. Sitting with my laptop next to my piano all the way in the heart of Paris, France, I've been reading your blog for over a year now, and always with tremendous joy, admiration, curiosity and excitement. It's an honour to be allowed into your beautiful world of which you share so wholeheartedly. It deeply enriches my own.
Thank you.


Every single night before I go to sleep and every morning before I hop out of bed, the same prayer in on my lips.  Of course I pray for m...