Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Really Matters

Let's do a little activity. Don't be scared. I promise it will only take a few minutes.

I challenge you to take a moment now (yes, right now!) and reflect. For a brief moment, mentally let go of everything you have that can be replaced. Forget about your car, forget about your expensive clothes and purses. Forget about your jewellery, your watch, and your fancy china. Forget about your state of the art television and sound system, your computer, your video games, your iPhone, iPod, iPad. You don't need them. Mentally empty all the contents of your house. Say goodbye to anything that money can buy.

All that is left is the roof above your head. You're in an empty room. Now bring in the people who are most dear to you. People you love and who love you back. People who make you smile. Your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your grandparents, your friends, etc. You may want to bring one person, five people, ten, twenty... Are they all there in the imaginary empty room with you? Great. You now have everything.

As a society, we have become too impersonal, too impatient, too stressed, too busy, too materialistic, too cynical, too fake and too judgemental. Without realizing it, we overthink and overstress on small things that do not really matter. Impatient when there is a traffic jam during your drive? Anxious because your bus is late? Angry because you spilled your drink on your new tablecloth? Did the store run out of that shirt you wanted? SO WHAT?!

"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

Life works in very strange and unexpected ways sometimes. Situations occur that make you ponder life more deeply. It is a shame that most of us only realize what is really important when it's too late. Suddenly, whether you are prepared or not, everything falls apart before it falls back into place and into new perspective. Ultimately, you learn that the only things that really matter are health and to be with the people you cherish.
Be kind, be honest, be courteous, be patient, be selfless and be happy. Remember that happiness is sometimes a positive side effect of the actions you take. So do something nice and make someone smile. The smallest gesture can have the greatest effect and bring the biggest joy.

Surround yourself with people who love you and who bring out the best in you. Don't take anything or anyone for granted. We all want to believe that we are untouchable. We're not. 

When life gives you lemons, (before you make lemonade) ask yourself "why is life giving me these lemons?" You may or may not have the answer to that question right away. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and that, whether we see it or not, life is full of lessons. There are some lessons that are easier to learn than others.
We are still asking ourselves why and still trying to learn this life lesson...

Rest in Peace
Alice Hatzakordzian Beuyukian
June 24, 1945 - October 16, 2012

                                by Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? 

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built,
not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,
empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character. 

What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.