Things are not what they use to be. Things that use to be important, no longer are. I guess the changes in everyday living is part of that. Is this part of our progression of life? I have to ask, “What causes things that were important to become less important?” So, What is important?
The freedictionary.com says, Important is, “of great significance or value; outstanding: Voltaire is an important writer. 2. of social significance; notable; eminent; esteemed: an important man in the town. 3.(Usually foll by: to) especially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by): your wishes are important to me.”
We all understand the growth process and maturation in life. Those things that were important to you at age 6 are no longer important at age 30. They were real and important at the time, but not now.
What Is Important In Your Life
Here are some of the important things in life. Working, money, career, success, things, relationship, family and love. For most, these are what matter in life. Some things are of temporary importance, while others are long term. What was important or urgent yesterday may not be important today. I believe priorities set the order of importance.
Do you have a “To Do List?” This is a list of important things the individual needs to complete. It can also be a list of solutions to problems. To do list are typically organized in order of priority or by their most important value. We do rate things in life and importance with high value or low value. Lets see what value really means.
Everyone looks for real value. We value things that are important to us. I want to give a definition of value. Oxforddictionaries.com says, “Noun, 1.The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something: ‘your support is of great value’.”
2. “Principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life: ‘they internalize their parents’ rules and values’. Consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.”
I do agree, especially with number 2.”Principles or standards of behavior.” In short, people do what they want do. People do what is important to them and people do what is valuable to them. Importance, value and priorities go together. It is hard to separate these when it comes to motivation and preferences.
I was raised up, being taught that you love people and use things. I see a new standard of values in modern society. This standard says, “Love things and use people.” Values have become subjective (what I want it to be). These are new and improved values that are quickly replacing old traditional standards of moral and ethical behavior. Values drive importance and actions.
Our values play a large role in who we are and what we do. They are a huge factor in how we deal with relationships and behavior. Relationships are prioritized by how valuable and beneficial they are to the individual. I personally believe the most valuable and beneficial relationship is that of family.
Changing Values And Importance
We live in a fast paced society. It is easy to become so busy and involved in your own life. I hear people say, “I just don’t have time, there are not enough hours in a day. I am lucky to get done what I do.” Much of this is necessary. In a loving relationship each person wants to show their love to the other by being useful and valuable.
I see a trend in families that bothers me. I see parents who are now older. Parents who have give and sacrificed their whole life for their children and still do. I see grown children who no longer value their own parents. Their parents are no longer important or a priority. Grown children have the right to make their own lives and live the way they want.
Just as a friend (an older parent) said to me, “I just want to be useful. But, I am not wanted and needed anymore.”
The truth is, this parent is “USED” by their children. They are only valuable when the children want or need something. This parent is low priority. And this parent allows themself to be used because of their love for the children. Bad attention is better than no attention.
Psychologytoday.com says, “There are other synantonyms that swarm to address the tough judgment call of whether to give to someone. Positive terms include being of service, serving, contributing, being selfless, donating, helping, aiding, and being generous. Negative terms include being exploited, manipulated, duped, conned, ripped off, taken advantage of, robbed.” One is positive (useful-valuable) the other is negative (Used).
The difference is in the outcome. People will use you unfairly then say, “I love you.” What importance or value do you recieve from that? Is this attitude fostered, because children grew up using their parents and depending on them for whatever they needed? Childrens “Ace in the hole” is knowing the parents will always love them regardless.
I really do believe this learned or developed behavior, has carried over into all different kinds of relationships. Not just with parents and families. It is hard to believe, you can devalue someone yet claim their importance.
A Story With Value And Importance
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
Like the empty jar in this story we set out to fill our lives. I do believe everyone wants a life of value and worth. Each person needs to be and feel useful and important. Important in Life, love and relationships. It is easy to lose sight of what is really important and get your priorities mixed up.
You can never go back and have a brand new start, but you can start now and have a brand new ending.
What matters the most in your life? What is most important to you. What is most valuable to you? The answers to these 3 questions will tell you what your priorities are. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your priorities and change them.
For those who say, “I just don’t have enough time.” I say, “We make time for what is important. We make time for what matters the most. We make time for those who are most important.” In this life, divorce, disease and death should remind us of what matters the most. I think it is life, love, relationships and our human connections. So I ask you, “What Is Important?”
Your thoughts, opinions, and comments are welcome. Leave them here. If I can help you then let me know.