We Should Think More About Things That Don’t Matter

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Why is it so hard to keep our priorities straight?

We think we’re focused on what matters, but in an instant, the universe can show us that we had it all wrong. We know what’s really important, but we insist on building other things up to be important, as if we need to be surrounded with important crap all the time.

We don’t.

At least once every year there is a local news story in everyone’s area about a house fire that leaves a family with nothing but the socks and pyjamas they ran out into the street with. People rally to help, not only from genuine sympathy and charity, but because they suddenly realize that none of their own crap is that important to them after all. They feel moved to share whatever they have, because in the end, it’s just stuff.

We need stories like this to keep us in line. 

We are wired to be vigilant, to save up for a rainy day, to be fearful of attack. This comes from our animal ancestry, and it serves us pretty well in the wild, but in modern society, it makes us obsess about social media and consumer goods as though they were essential to our survival. 

A brand of car, that bathroom reno, having perfect eyebrows become the stuff of necessity instead of amusements for when we don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. 

It’s not that we forget what’s really important. The problem is, we forget what’s not important at all. We need occasional stories of sudden and total loss to remind us that we could step out of this paradigm any time we choose.

We can choose to remember that every bit of the stuff that surrounds us in our homes is dispensable. Likewise, everything happening on social media is rendered instantly meaningless when we hear a loved one has died – so, why do we ever think it different?

The only thing that’s stopping you from feeling joy right at this moment is the lack of a desire for joy, and you can fix that any time. Imagine it’s you who has just escaped disaster with nothing but the clothes on your back and the knowledge that your loved ones are safe and sound.

Think on that for a bit today!

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