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What’s Your Treasure?

January 12, 2012

Photo by Trey Ratcliff. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Neilochka was over on Twitter thinking about life online. This is nothing new. Neil thinks so much about life online that sometimes I just want take him to the Frisky Kitty, give him six shots of tequila and shove a handful of bills in his hand just to make him stop thinking about social media for a minute.

Today he tweeted

“The media always thinks the main point of Twitter is to influence others to buy or do something. They only see the world as broadcasters.”

and then

“It’s as if the personal connections you make here are irrelevant.”

He’s right, of course. It’s the folly of man – and especially corporate man – to think that stuff equals happiness, that money can solve all problems, that buying and selling equals living.

I remember driving back from the hospital when Laura was dying and seeing the state Lottery billboard that cheerfully shouted “Today’s Jackpot – $28 million!”

It suddenly hit me: I could win all that money and it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference. My sister would still die, no matter what I did with it. Life and death are beyond the control of the richest man. We are all leveled by some events.

It reminded me this amazing dream I had – and I hate hearing dreams, so please bear with me on this one. It was years ago and it is still as vivid to me as it was back then.

The world was ending in three days and everyone knew it. It was inevitable. We all wandered the streets. There were piles of gold and silver and diamonds just lying around. We all looked at each other, sheepishly, realizing how foolish we had been.

The other day I started thinking about what I would want to have done on this earth, what would satisfy me. My list was not at all Mother Teresa-ish or grand, but it was true for me. I want to be able to say on my deathbed:

  • I made people laugh.
  • I made people feel good about themselves.
  • I gave people insight about themselves in an honest and helpful way.
  • I helped preserve open space.
  • I had a good relationship with my family.
  • I did what I could to stay healthy.

That’s it. That’s my treasure. What’s yours?

  1. January 12, 2012 08:53

    My list would be very similar to yours. Over the last few years, I’d say I’ve added “I listened to people.”

    • January 21, 2012 07:39

      I think we underestimate the power of hearing people’s stories a lot.

  2. January 12, 2012 12:37

    I agree with Cherie that my list would be similar to yours + I’d add her idea. Also I’d add: “I encouraged people to think outside their comfort zone so that they might learn and grow.”

    • January 21, 2012 07:39

      Which sometimes they appreciate and sometimes not so much, right? 😉

  3. Maria in Oregon permalink
    January 13, 2012 16:04

    I made connections with people by listening to or observing how they expressed themselves, and I expressed myself well. I was part of the human experience. (Wow, that sounds stupid and new-agey!)

  4. January 17, 2012 11:11

    I learned how to be OK with being my authentic self. I am surrounded by good, kind, wonderful friends. I loved and was loved.

  5. January 18, 2012 07:58

    A lot of these resonated. I think I’d also like to hear, “I loved to hear her sing.”

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