The artist, poet, and nature explorer, Roderick MacIver, sites “compassion, love, shared joy, shared risk and adventure, shared laughter” as elements that make life worth living. He concludes, “At the end of our lives, that’s how we’ll look back, or others will look back, and assess value. Everything else is relatively meaningless.”
I read and re-read his list.
I thought of what I would include on my own list of what makes a meaningful, valuable life. I asked myself, “Where would our lists overlap?”
How has my list evolved over the years? Who and what influences my list? How has this list changed from a list I would have written in my 20s, or my 40s, or my 50s? I wonder how my list will be different from one I hope to write in my 80s or 90s.
What has become obvious is that this is much more than an exercise of writing a list. It is an opportunity to contemplate the way I live my life in relation to the way I want / need to live it; the way my living it reflects my values, and in some measure, how others expect me to live it. Do I write my list based on the way I live my life or do I live my life based on what is on my list?
Once I am comfortable with my list, I need to commit to living my list every day. For example, if love is an element on my list (and it is), what does that mean? How do I express love? How do I receive love? Do I share our love freely with some and hold it back from others?
Some things to think about.
What would be on your list?