In light of the extraordinary gift of life, I’m surprised at how much importance we attach to our items. Baubles, keepsakes, and mementos (while they have personal value), are of non-significance in the grand scheme of things.
For corroboration, ask anyone who’s lost everything in a catastrophe. People who realize their lives could have been easily snatched have a new appreciation for life. I’m reminded of Aimee Copeland, who survived a flesh eating bacteria absent hands, a leg, and her feet. Afterward she joyfully announced “Life is a beautiful thing.”
This deep sense of gratitude and appreciation pervades her entire being. With regard to things, you can’t take it with you. In the movie The Evening Star, Shirley McClain’s maid admonishes her for spending so much time on her scrapbooks, and so little time on the people in them. Our priority then should be other persons, and not things that can be easily lost, damaged, or forgotten. Norman Vincent Peale remarked that he saw more smiling faces in the rice paddies of China than on Park Avenue. Perhaps people stripped of unnecessary trappings are closer to what matters.
When we’re stifled by materialism, it’s more difficult to sift through the superfluous. Today, consider rekindling relationships with people whose olive branch you’ve ignored. Their friendship is the real treasure beneath the conglomeration of stuff. If you died today, how many people would attend your service?
Sometimes we must be proactive in facilitating and maintaining our friendships. As we age, these are the jewels worth keeping.