How old would you be, if you had no idea how old you really were?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cup a Coffee - The Most Important Thing I Know

Took a few minutes this morning to reshelve some books I had lying around and stumbled on to a copy of a book titled The Most Important Thing I Know. It's a collection of handwritten letters from famous people (75 of them) telling in a sentence or two what they felt was the most important thing they knew.

I'm a sucker for that sort of thing, so diverted from my clean-up campaign, I thumbed through the book and read most of the seventy-five entries. (They're short.) I was looking for the gem, the needle in the haystack which was exactly right. The one that said it all.
Maya Angelou, Poet, wrote: My grandmother told me that every good thing I do helps some human being in the world. I believed her fifty years ago and I still do.

Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, wrote: True excellence requires a worthy dream, a good idea of how to realize it and the courage to risk failure to achieve it.

Eileen Ford, Founder, Ford Modeling Agency, wrote: My parents always believed that I was The Best! With thoughts like that behind you, it's impossible not to strive for excellence. No one wants to disappoint their parents.

Greg Norman, Golf Champion, wrote: The journey is the reward.

Julian Bond, Civil rights pioneer, wrote: Excellence and equity are inseparable - a good society cannot have one without the other. Any society that abandons either is imperfect.
The longer I searched the more futile the search became. My grandmother was the mother of 15 kids, a good lady, but not a great source of inspiration. I am one of nine kids. My parents liked me but I was not the BEST. I am always dreaming. Are my dreams worthy dreams? What does it matter? The most important things these 75 people knew were not the most important things to me.

So just what is the most important thing? For me, today is the most important thing. Today I have to exercise, and then pay attention to what I eat, so as not to shorten my time on the planet, my time with my sweetie, my kids, my grandkids, my friends. Today I'm going to enjoy the clean, thin mountain air and the incredibly clear blue skies. Today I am going to work on a canoe I'm building in the garage.

1 comment:

Sumday said...

And so, friend, what would you add to the list of important things to know. What is your legacy -- in a few short sentences?