What Matters to Us

There is nothing inherently noble about hardship.  Sometimes we make life unnecessarily complicated for ourselves and we don't even know it.  And sometimes gutting out difficult times can be a gateway to a pride that destroys us from within.  True, true, and true.

And yet it is also true that the really meaningful things in life are often quite arduous to go through.  Rising up against injustice.  Making tough and costly decisions.  Truly loving someone when it is painful and thankless to do so.

When we get to the end of our lives, what will we remember?  Will it be good times, unforgettable experiences, and meaningful relationships?  Will those memories reconcile with the opportunity we had to truly make a difference in someone's life, in our peer group, in society as a whole?  Will we regale our grand-kids with awesome stories and touching moments and have them scratch their heads that we didn't have anything to say about standing up to the day's evils? 

Our Facebook timelines may or may not be accurate reflections of our thoughts and actions, and they may not represent the things we will remember and pass on to our kids and grand-kids.  But they are a proxy of sorts for what matters to us.  There is nothing wrong with vacation shots, birthday parties, and cat pics.  But a life that is just that, that is silent when what the world needs is for us to speak out, that conveys comfort and ease when struggle and hardship is in order, I fear that life is incomplete, no matter how full it feels. 

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