Losing Sight of What’s Important

old timesMost people come to America so that they can make a better life for themselves and their family. Upon arriving here they obtain jobs, housing, and cars. With their finances they are finally able to buy the clothes they’ve desire, and the electronics that they’ve seen others using, but could never afford for themselves. Before long, they are set. They are living the ‘American dream’.

But as they look around at their new-found fortune, there are a few things missing. Things that money can’t buy. Family, togetherness, and joy.

Back in their homeland, they had nothing to distract themselves from their family. Their spare time wasn’t spent in front of a TV or video game, separated by walls and headphones. Instead, their time was spent playing and visiting with one another.

Dinners were enjoyed as a family, without the clicking of fingers on mobile devices. They had conversations, laughed together, and shared stories about their day. They were family. Their bond was strong. They had togetherness.

Back in their homeland they had nothing, but they had everything. Having spoken to many people who’ve moved here, several of them want to go back to nothing, just so that they can have everything again.

Growing up in America, many of us don’t feel the same loss that people who migrated here do. We were raised with all of these luxuries, and are accustomed to this way of life. Most of us have never known any different, and because of that we don’t fully realize what we’re missing.

Back in the old days before cars, TVs, and cell phones, families here in America had togetherness too. Of course the work was more labor intensive and illnesses were harder to cure, but families were together.

They had a greater appreciation for the people in their lives, because those people were their life. Their family was more important than anything else. They were also more grateful for the small things they had; the things that now days we so often take for granted.

It’s very easy to get caught up in our careers, chasing after money, and competing to get to the next level. That gives us satisfaction. For a time. But, true satisfaction isn’t found in our job or bank account. It’s found in those around us.

Even though I do enjoy the many luxuries of today’s world, I would gladly sacrifice them all if given the chance to go back in time a few generations. To a time when life was harder, yet simple. A time when people valued what was truly important. A time before their priorities became mixed up. A simple, yet fulfilling life.

β€œMost of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”  – Stephen R. Covey

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18 Responses to Losing Sight of What’s Important

  1. IyimEli says:

    I love this piece. A jolt of reality

    Like

  2. amommasview says:

    I agree with you. We do lose sight of what is important. The exchange with others, the deep conversations, board games, family meals and actually looking, talking and listening to each other without any screens present.

    Like

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. It wasn’t until I traveled to Europe that I became how differently we love from people there. I have actually brought some of that home with me. I loved how people hung out socializing in squares. They were not stuck inside glued to a tv with a laptop sitting on top of them. They took strolls and ate really long dinners together. I often have a night in Italy here at home. Soup to nuts, cheesy downloaded Italian music and of course twinkle lights. Everyone looks forward to those nights πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. stormy1812 says:

    I recently had Slavic neighbors who were here on work visas; they would so give anything to be back at home but they are here simply to find a way to support themselves only. They were good boys. I totally agree with the sentiment you have going here. We’ve gotten so caught up on trying to live the ‘American dream’ we’ve forgotten what was at the heart of it. It’s such a rat race anymore. There are still glimmers of it in small towns but even here we’re so caught up in trying to get the latest greatest whatever that more important things are overshadowed. This is a good reminder after the day I’ve had lol. Trying to remember there are more important things.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I can fully understand why people would move to America to make a better life for themselves, but it is saddening that they sacrifice so much in the process. Many of them don’t realize what they will lose when they come here, until it’s too late to retrieve it.

      You’re right about the rat race. That’s all life seems to be about most days and it shouldn’t be that way. There are so much more important things in this life than careers and material goods. I grew up in a small town and it was great, but you’re right – even they are are focused on the wrong things now.

      I’m glad to have given you the reminder that you needed. We could all use those every now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Prajakta says:

    What a lovely piece and the quote at the end is apt. What is important is often misunderstood.

    Like

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    I had it in my head that with this technology I’d be keeping in better touch with family and friends. It turns out that I rarely am in touch with them because both them and I are busy with whatever online. I used to handwrite letters to these people and tell them all the going-ons. Now it’s just a couple of quick lines using a chat program. I wouldn’t mind going back to the type of life we had forty years ago. There’d be much more time spent on the important stuff.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I completely agree with you. I had the same thought about technology bringing my family and I closer, but it seems that that’s exactly what’s still keeping us apart. Funny how that works. The only exception is my sister, who I ‘talk’ to now more than ever before. So I suppose there are a few exceptions. Handwritten letters – I loved those! Checking the mail used to be exciting. Like you, I wouldn’t mind going back. I think we’d all be a lot happier.

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  7. April says:

    It’s very easy to let life slip by while looking at some type of gadget. I think we have a harder life, that we are making harder by isolating ourselves from human contact. In essence, life is easier but harder. It sometimes takes an effort to have ‘no electronic zones’. We need to have more of them. πŸ˜€

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    • mewhoami says:

      It sure is. Gadgets can steal a big portion of our life is we’re not careful. I completely agree with you about life being harder now days. We may have all these fancy gadgets, but look where we are as a society. It’s a shame really.

      Like

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