Remember what matters

A reminder to myself

By Jay Pinion

This is a reminder to myself about what really matters in life because I so often forget.

It often takes something terrible happening in your life, or in the lives of those close to you, to gain a real sense of perspective on how insignificant your problems truly are.

Recently, the daughter of close family friends died tragically at a young age. I had the honor of giving a reading at the funeral. It was very difficult to look down at the parents from the altar, their faces tear-filled, sobbing, and full of grief. Can you imagine what it must be like to lose a child? To outlive your own offspring? I can't even begin to comprehend what they must be going through.

I'm not usually a crier, but I struggled to hold back the tears. I was crying inside. I wasn't mourning the loss of this young girl as the parents were, but I was deeply saddened by the tragedy of the situation—a young woman losing her life.

I was also saddened by the realization that I often don't appreciate the amazing life I've been given. Constantly striving, wanting more—money, recognition, skills, achievements—never feeling like I have enough. It takes a situation like this to remind you of what really matters in life.

The lives of my family friends are now, at least in the near future, fully consumed with grief. If I had to guess, every other problem in their lives now feels utterly insignificant. When it boils down to it, the only things that matter are our relationships and health. It takes a horrible situation like this to make that clear.

I've recently been reading Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, a great account of his life as a neurosurgeon. A book like this can truly ground you. It shows you just how lucky you are to be alive and in good health.

In the book, Marsh recounts how he confronts cancer, trauma, death, and despair on an almost daily basis. The stories he tells of those with brain cancer and serious brain injuries are harrowing. The individuals affected often live a life of total dependency, unable to walk, speak, or do any of the tasks we take for granted. These poor souls no longer have a choice about how to live their lives, but you do!

Remember what matters.

Money is only important insofar as it takes care of your basic needs.

Your friends, family, and community are the most important of all.



This Harvard study reveals that those who lived the happiest, healthiest lives were those who had numerous strong, intimate relationships with friends and family. Love is incredibly important. Loneliness is a serious problem in modern Western society. Make sure it's not a problem in your life.