Life is serious matter.
Even understanding it needs serious action.
“If you want your life to be fine, make sure the important things are in order.”
I agree with this. Small things come and go but important things are the pillars on which we can base our life.
But what are these? What are important things?
Should I enjoy my life and travel many weeks every year? Should I give up my well-paying job that I believe is neutral (guiding, in tourism) for the good for the world? Should I work for the EU that I believe in?
These were some of the questions I was thinking about when I wrote an article with the same title in Hungarian.
Most of my life I’ve felt I haven’t been occupied with very important things.
But looking at things my way: has anyone managed to something really important, ever!?
György Faludy (my favourite Hungarian poet) left his 28 years junior life-long partner for a woman 65 years his junior at age 92.
Kurt Vonnegut (my favourite US writer) attempted committing suicide at age 62 and was a very difficult man to live with.
Gautama Buddha left his wife and children at age 29.
Besides these not too appealing life events they added a great deal to humanity’s (and my) life.
We can be really outstanding in a thing but it means we have to abandon large chunks of millions of little things.
(An interesting example is the oldest son of Captain Fantastic who has a great understanding of the Bill of Rights but doesn’t know what is Adidas.”)
When it comes to our work or “being someone” we have to focus on something and become expert in it.
I’m planning to visit my grandparents tomorrow. We will show our apartment and spend the afternoon with them. I might have a better chance in becoming someone outstanding if I focus on reading or research.
Is it possible that taking an important thing very seriously means that we have to give up so much that it just isn’t worth it any more? The really important goal can only be achieved if the end sanctifies all the means?
But let’s go again. What are important things?
According to Maslow’s pyramid the most basic things seem to be the most important. If we are all worth the same (in a next article I’ll write about how unequal we are) no one should be starving, even if it cost us losing all our “higher” values, including safety and love.
As Eugene Debs said: “[…] while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
If basic is the most important, then our gods should be farmers while the least important people are in the service sector. In the last days of a total war the situation is such: a farmer is way more valuable than a tour guide. But in our societies services bring research, development, prosperity and comfort while agriculture brings lower wages and “only” food.
Or let’s put it even more simply: the elementary school teacher who teaches you to write and read is certainly more important than the Comparative Religious Studies Professor, isn’t she? But substituting will be prove to be more difficult for the professor (Who is more important? The White House’s first line customer service lady or the US president himself?)
Another way of trying to measure importance is money. If I earn with it it’s valuable (important). But does a Wall Street shark or a corrupt lawman creates so many times more value than a nurse? Or infinite times more than a volunteer?!
As Emil Cioran said: Knowing what’s important is the most rare thing on this Earth. From all the people I’ve known there are so few standing out in this quality that I could count them on one hand (there were four or five, altogether) (my translation)
So what’s important!?
On one hand our own self-improvement and values are important: our intent, our little world: ourselves.
On the other hand social development and value: our actions, the outside world: the other people.
What’s important in life? There are more then 7,5 billion (practical) answers for it. I’ll never even write this many characters in my entire life. But why would I want to answer everyone?!
Rather, I’ll tell you what’s important for me today, on 10th August, 2017.
I want to take care of my life. Of my family and friends. Improve myself to be able to change people’s life for the better. Not as a figure of authority but a person giving a hand discovering the beauty of everydays and the incredible opportunities in us, people – that can be used and enjoyed.
To tell you that life can be enjoyable, we are important and we should be aware of it.