What’s Important



The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference.

The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.

And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.

– Elie Wiesel


I’ve been pondering what’s important.

I realise that I’m now hurtling down the steep decline of the Part 2 of my life and, unless the author miraculously pulls out a third book for a trilogy, I have less days breathing on this earth than the ones I’ve already been graced with.

So, I’ve been asking myself what are the big things in life, the things I want to give my energy and attention to?

I find it a complex question to answer.

For me, it’s not just about my values and what I love doing, it’s also mixed up with questions of legacy, contribution, purpose and, ultimately, meaning.

I can understand why we don’t talk about this. It’s so much easier to just keep on shuffling through the minutiae of life – do the things that earn the money that pays the bills that buys the comfort or the occasional little bit of luxury. Oh, and the Friday night pizza and bottle of wine.

But, fuck it, if I know one thing for sure, it is that life is so much more than that.

I was recently reminded of the Elie Wiesel quote:

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

I think there is truth in how this applies to life.

For me, loving life – or simply making the most of every day I have left – requires getting off the treadmill, going somewhere, anywhere (physically, emotionally, psychologically) and some change or growth. It requires tough decisions that make me question my beliefs and values. It requires living beyond mediocrity, beyond indifference.

So what’s important?

Love. Love others. Be open to love. Live with love, live with heart, live with passion. Connect with others. Nurture friendship. Live with purpose and meaning; know why you’re here; know how you contribute to life and the planet – and do that every day. Be compassionate; be just; be fair. Encourage this in others. Be open to ideas, experiences, difference. Bring ideas to life. Live in new ways. Grow, change, adapt. Be curious. Question that which does not make sense. Respect yourself. Respect others. Respect the earth and all beings that are part of its magnificence. Respect your body and encourage good health. Find your centre, the present moment, your own peace. Be mindful. Live the tao; with strength and softness; yin and yang; yield and act. Balance order with flexibility. Be aware that you are part of a larger whole. Acknowledge, appreciate and be in awe of the beauty around you. Enjoy life, have fun, be alive to the senses and feeling good. Live lightly. See the irony, paradox, ridiculousness and humour in life. Live simply. Have only that which meets your needs – or is stupidly beautiful. Know thyself. Be responsible for your actions. Be genuine, authentic, honest. Be there for your family; appreciate, support, connect and share with them. Dream, laugh, explore, question, stretch, challenge and connect with your friends. Share stories. Celebrate life. Create a life like no other. And. Respect your sneakers – they carry you forth.

Well, that’s what’s important to me, right now. It’s a work in progress.


The Values exercise I used as part of this reflection is available here