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What are the 10 Most Important Things in Life?

Our favorite restaurant has closed.

A child’s toy is left behind on a trip.

Our dog ran away.

We have all observed that the value of something in our lives becomes well known to us when it is missing.  The loss of a job, a friendship, financial security or one’s health are cold reminders of the worth of these items in our lives.  How important are the people in our lives?  We’ve all been taught this lesson the hard way.  Of course, it is human nature to take one’s advantages and blessings for granted.  I do my best to pause from time to time to meditate on the gifts that have fallen my way, many of which are undeserved.  I certainly need to do this more often. In fact, I don’t think one can do this often enough.

Do Flowers Really Matter?

I think most of us would agree that life is richer when we appreciate what we have while we still have it.  In the course of a long medical career, I have met so many inspiring individuals – happy and content with their lot in life.  They are grateful for what they can do which may be different from what they were able to do in the past. These are special people.  They seem to know what really matters and prioritize  accordingly.  They are great role models.  For those of us who take too much for granted, we routinely allow items of lesser value to ascend higher than deserved on the priority ladder.  I certainly struggle with this issue.  The first step in this challenge, I think, is to give life to this struggle and to engage in it.

Think of the 10 items in your life that you value most.  (Not 10 items that sound like the right answers but the 10 items and activities that truly command most of your time and attention.)  Are you satisfied with your list?   Are your top list entries deserving of this status?  What has been devalued and left off the list?  Does performing this simple list-making exercise seem like worthwhile endeavor or is it more like a banal classroom exercise that would only burn up your time?  Or, is it worthwhile just to check in with yourself from time to time?

Somewhere on my own list (can't say for sure if it's top 10 material)  is the joy and satisfaction I receive from writing this blog, still in full force since 2009. It gives me the opportunity to think, craft an argument, assess an opposing viewpoint and put it out in the public square.  I've often criticized the government and others, activities that could land a blogger in jail in many parts of the world. And when readers engage on a post, especially when they disagree with me, it fulfills the blog’s purpose.  I hope that this is a place where readers and myself can be open to other points of views and might even engage in a rare event these days. Changing one's mind.


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