What really matters?

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People – we are surrounded by them, unless you chose to be a hermit.

Our lives would not have started without people – two individuals coming together and creating a new being.  We are raised by a family.  It does take a village to raise a child.  We each need others to contribute to the basic necessities of life – water, food, clothing, and shelter.  We also need other people for the extras and luxuries of life – cars, toys, vacations and electronics, for instance.

From the moment we are born we interact with others.  An infant needs another human to bond with so that the infant can establish a life-long ability to trust and connect with others.

A child learns primarily through observation.  Observing those around her – touching, tasting, feeling, seeing, and smelling.  A growing child observes how the people in his life behave and interact and then imitates them.   A boy learns to love reading from his parents after many bed time stories.

Our employment, vocation, and contribution to the world is enhanced by interaction, cooperation, and collaboration with others in our industry, hobby, and interests.  Commerce would never happen without humans working together, making deals, bringing goods from the place of production to the consumer.  Our society is well connected in the technical realm – industry, communications, technology, media, and the internet expand our connections.

Some choose to live a life of isolation, such as Glen, a solo traveler/explorer, who writes at To simplify .  Some lives end alone, but that doesn’t have to be so.  In our modern world, it is nearly impossible to survive as an island – we are wired to connect with others.  Interpersonal interaction is an essential human characteristic.

It is this fundamental necessity that compels our relationships to matter.  Our relationships do amount to something.  They have value in our world.  Who we are is in part the sum total of all the inter-personal relations that we’ve accumulated throughout our lives – some good and positive, and unfortunately, some bad.

 “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.” — Epicurus.

The ancient Hellenistic philosopher, Epicurus, believed that friendship, more than anything else, contributed to a healthy and fulfilling life.  I agree.  Don’t take your connections, neighbors, friends, and relations for granted.  In today’s ever expanding world of online connections through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, we may attain hundreds of “friends”, but such a large number is untenable as authentic, intimate relationships.

Cherish the time you have with your family, your neighbors, your “authentic” friends, and co-workers.  These are the people that matter.  They are your community – your circle of influence.  They are the people we are commanded to love and connect with.  What really matters is the relationships that we nurture and grow.

 What do you think?  What can you do today to enhance your immediate relationships?

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About John Forrest

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