3 S.R. Johannes: What is really important...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What is really important...

Today, as I read the NY Times - about Darfur's genocide, Sept 11th's anniversary, the ongoing tragedy of the crocodile Hunter's freak death- I am quickly reminded of the things in my life that are really important.

The unfortunate thing of living in the U.S. is that we - more than most nations- are very priviledged which means we are not faced very often with the question of "what is really important?". We do not have to deal with terrorism every morning on our way to the grocery store or work, we do not have to deal with malaria contributing to our genocide, and we do not have to deal with watching millions of children die every day from aids.

Yes we have some horrible situations here- crime, the homeless, our orphans, the aftermath of Katrina. But as I watch TV and read the paper - I am struck at how selfish and oblivious we have become as a nation and as Americans. Our big controversies in the news right now are either around the new 9/11 TV Show, Lindsey Lohan's missing purse, Mel Gibson's DUI, or the idiotic debate on whether the Crocodile Hunter is really a "biologist" or not.

Who really gives a crap about that stuff?

Is that really where our focus needs to be?

Is that all we have to focus on?

When tragedies happen either in our local neighborhood or in a nation where millions of people are dying, I am reminded that the first thing I immediately think about...when I read those stories...are my family and friends.

I thank a higher power everyday for everything I have.

I have a beautiful daughter who every day reminds me of the small miracles I normally miss in the hustle bustle of life - an ant, a mushroom, or just skipping down a path.

I have a wonderful husband - who despite getting on my nerves or pissing me off (sorry honey ;)- I love more than life. A man who is gentle, kind, funny, dependable, handsome, and thoughtful. A man who - most importantly - loves me unconditionally whether I am fat, skinny, mopey, happy or even just plain bitchy. He is my safe place to fall.

I have a beautiful family. Not a big one in quantity but a massive one in quality. A brother who I adore. I sister (in-law and in heart) that I cherish. A niece who makes me laugh. And a mother and father who love me and who I know would die for me to be happy.

I have the most beautiful intelligent friends who make me laugh, aren't afraid to tell me if a pair of pants make my butt look big or when I am wrong. The best of friends who are always there the second I need anything...especially if I need a hug.

I have a wonderful home that I am peaceful in - bright light, good energy, and safe.

I have a wonderful body. Not necessarily in the best of shape or size. However, even in its odd post- pregnancy state, a body that is remotely healthy.

I have a wonderful life. I am lucky to be a writer, to have a roof over my head, to have the ability to get food when I need it (and even buy organic), and everyone in it.

If we as a nation, or even just as people, we could focus more on what we have, instead of what we don't have. If we could focus more on what we can give, instead of what we want. If we could appreciate the good instead of finding the bad. Maybe - we would be much happier. Maybe, we would not be searching to fill some unknown void with materialism, controversy or greed.

I do not feel the need to focus on the negative, obtain more money, or partake in our trivial debates.
However, I do feel a need to do something about the world we live in. To contribute in a way that matters or makes a difference. To help someone, somewhere. I want to give back to the world in thanks for the priviledges I have or experience every day.

Maybe that is what is really important...



Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I remind myself weekly how lucky I am. You wrote this a long time ago- we are probably all a little more thankful these days.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. i remember when 9/11 hit I had a friend who seemed irritated that I did not watch TV for days straight and kept the worst of it from my children. She seemed to think it was my obligation as an American to wallow in the awfulness of it all (and don't get me wrong--it was the most awful thing ever). But I kept myself centered by reminding myself who and what was important. My family, my children, my hubby. I love how you articulated that.