True wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.
I attended a large Salvation Army appreciation dinner last night and as usual met some interesting good people. I also had a chance to visit with many friends that I don’t see often enough.
The main speaker for the evening said something that really got me thinking. He asked if we had our priorities in the right order. He suggested that most people do want to help others, contribute to a good cause or donate their time and talent, but only if they have any time our money left over after they do all the other things they might do. In other words he wondered if we are so conditioned to pleasing ourselves that we never have time to serve or have left over funds to give. Now I know that lot’s of folks barely make ends meet after they buy the basics and others are not able to do anything that requires physical activity but there is so much opportunity to help that there is something everyone can do.
OK, why did all this hit home for me? It did because in the last ten years or so I have spent most of my time doing things that I hope make a difference and they have been the best years of my life. I now regret all the years that I didn’t do much because I didn’t think I had any available time. I now know that if I would have changed my priorities to make sure I dedicated more time to others I would have reaped great benefit. I would have done better if I had just stopped and asked myself questions like, is seeing the latest movie really more important than spending a few hours volunteering? I know now I would have met and become friends with some really great people if only I would just have given a little more of my time.
Here are a few paragraphs that I have excerpted from an article by Catherine Pratt that are worth thinking about:
Your life’s priorities are whatever you spend time doing.
Think about what things you do in an average day. What are you doing with your time? Whether you realize it or not, those activities are your priorities. Most of us never even think about what we spend our time doing. We get up, we go to work, we come home at the end of the day. We’re just going through the motions never really thinking about what we do or how we do it or even why we do it. So, if you come home at night and flop down on the couch and watch tv until you go to bed, those 5 hours or so you just spent watching tv are one of your life priorities.
If you spent 8 hours working at a job you hate, that job is still your priority. If this is fine with you then you’re doing okay. But if you spend time wishing you had a more fulfilling job or even something as simple as more time to read or learn to paint, then it’s time to think about your life priorities.
Think about why you’re doing something
Think about all the things you spend your time doing on an average day or even on the weekend. Why do you do those things? Are they really life priorities or do you just do them because that’s what you’ve always done? Also, do you always do something that’s taking a lot of your time without even realizing it? For example, do you come home and instantly flip on the tv? It takes time and concentration for that tv to be on even if you just have it on as background noise. Think about why you do that thing. Is it because you’re tired or just because you’ve gotten yourself in a rut without even realizing it? Is there something you could be doing that would make you happier?
Is what you do really all you want to do? Could you forego one evening of TV watching to do a weekend errand during the week so you’ll have a few hours open on the weekend to give to others? Don’t be like me and wait too long to get your priorities straight for if you do you might find it is too late and I’ll tell you my friend you will have missed out on some of life’s great rewards.
People first, then money, then things.
A man goes to a doctor for a physical checkup.
The nurse starts with certain basic items. “How much do you weigh?” she asks.
“One-seventy.” he says.
The nurse puts him on the scale.
It turns out that his weight is 183.
The nurse asks, “Your height?”
“Five-eleven.” he says.
The nurse checks and sees that he’s only 5′ 8 1/2″.
She then takes his blood pressure, and it’s very high.
The man explains, “Of course it’s high. When I came in here, I was tall and wiry. Now, I’m short and fat!”
I’m convinced God put me here to accomplish a certain number of things; right now, I’m so far behind I’ll never die!
A priest at a parochial school, wanting to point out the proper behavior for church, was trying to elicit from the youngsters rules that their parents might give before taking them to a nice restaurant.
“Don’t play with your food,” one second-grader cited.
“Don’t be loud,” said another, and so on.
“And what rule do your parents give you before you go out to eat?” the priest inquired of one little boy.
Without batting an eye, the child replied, “Order something cheap.”
“Law of Volunteer Labor”
People are always available for work in the past tense.
The roof of the chapel was leaking and the priest asked for volunteers to raise funds for its repair. Mike offered his services. About a week later, the priest met Mike who was straggling from side to side as a result of having imbibed too freely. Mike was apologetic. “I’m collecting for the roof, Father,” he said. “Every one of the neighbours I called on insisted on giving me a wee drop after paying his subscription.” The priest was shocked. “Are there no teetotallers in the parish, Mike?” “Oh, yes, to be sure,” said Mike. ” I’ve written to them.”
Quoting one is plagiarism. Quoting many is research.
“Your honor,” a defense attorney began, “I have a series of witnesses that can testify that Mr. Johnson was nowhere near the scene of the crime when it occurred.”
The judge looked at the defense table and said, “This is the third time you’ve been in this court room this week, and I’m getting sick of hearing your lies.”
The defendant stood up with a confused expression and said, “Your honor, you must be mistaken. I’ve never been here in my life.”
Waving his finger, the judge replied, “I was referring to your lawyer.”
She said, I haven’t found Mr. Right, but I have found Mr. Cheap, Mr. Sleazy and Mr. Wrong.
A medieval Jewish astrologer prophesied to a king that his favorite mistress would soon die. Sure enough, the woman died a short time later. The king was outraged at the astrologer, certain that his prophecy had brought about the woman’s death. He summoned the astrologer and commanded him: “Prophet, tell me when you will die!”
The astrologer realized that the king was planning to kill him immediately, no matter what answer he gave. “I do not know when I will die,” he answered finally. “I only know that whenever I die, the king will die three days later.”
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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