• Deanna Kahler

What Matters Most?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Navigating life during the global pandemic

What matters most? Twenty years ago, I read a book with this very title. I completed a series of exercises and discovered, not surprisingly, that my leading core values are: Family, Honesty, Compassion and Appreciation of Nature. I bring this up because I believe we’re all doing this right now: trying to figure out — or more accurately, remember — what matters most to us. We’re in a unique time of global self-reflection and discovery. The world is in crisis, and like it or not, we must adapt and find better ways of living that ensure not only our survival, but also our ability to grow and thrive. The pandemic has caused us to look deep inside ourselves and re-evaluate our lives and our futures. What makes us happy? What gives us peace? What do we really want?

It’s easy to lose sight of these things when we’re so busy trying to earn a living, do what others expect us to do and achieve something we believe is meaningful. If there’s anything the pandemic has taught me, it’s to focus more on what matters most. I find myself really appreciating my family and friends and truly enjoying nature. I look forward to daily walks outside way more than I ever enjoyed shopping. Instead of striving to master a performance-based task, I get great satisfaction out of helping others — whether it’s talking to a friend in need; texting encouraging words; or offering a little surprise to brighten someone’s day. I am no longer willing to tolerate negativity, disrespect or unkind words. Life is too precious for that.

Clearly a lot has changed, and our world may never be the same. Sometimes that scares me, but other times I feel empowered. The future can be whatever we want it to be. We don’t have to go back to living in a stressful, hectic, demanding world. Instead, we can take time to appreciate what matters most: the people and this beautiful planet we have been blessed with.

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