Wednesday, August 29, 2012

THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

The short story The Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy has 3 questions posed and I’m willing to bet that you’ll get 1 answer right and 2 wrong. The questions are:
   When is the most important time?
 Who is the most important person?
 What is the most important thing you can do?


When is the most important time?
If you answered “now”, then you are right. It’s not the past; it’s not the future, but right here right now.
Why now? The past is just a memory. There’s nothing you can do to change what has already happened. It’s done, it’s over, it’s gone and there is no getting it back.
The future is just an idea. It’s your prediction of what’s going to happen and sometimes your prediction is right and sometimes it isn’t. The problem with the future is it’s just an idea that you can become attached to and when things don’t work out as planned you feel a sense of loss as “this wasn’t the way things were supposed to happen.”
That leaves us with now. This very hour, minute, second is all we really have. It’s the most important time and it’s where you can have an impact. The past is just a ghost of a memory and the future is simply an idea.
I’m guessing this is the question you got right.

Who is the most important person?

Most people will answer that the most important person is me, my spouse, or my kids. I’m afraid I disagree with those answers.
The most important person is the person you are with. When you’re in a meeting with your boss, she’s the most important person. When you’re in a cab, the driver is the most important person. When you’re with your kids, they are the most important. Alone with your spouse, she’s the most important. And when you are sitting alone by yourself, you guessed it, YOU are the most important person.
Got that one wrong? How about this one:

What is the most important thing you can do?

The most important thing you can do is to care. Care about your boss — she’s a real person and someone at home loves her very much. Care about your cab driver — he may be saving a friend’s life tomorrow. Care about your kids — they will one day be raising their own kids with the all the skills you give them today. Care about your spouse — they’re standing by you despite your flaws and weaknesses.
The most important time is now, the most important person is the person you are with, and the most important thing you can do is to care.
Life has no guarantees and we have no idea of how the future will play out. The people you are interacting with now may be saving your life in 10 minutes time, they may be the last people you will ever see. How do you want to act in the last moments of your life? Alternatively, maybe they are the next to go, how do you want to act with them in the last moments of their life? It may sound morbid but we are all here for a very short time and we may not know when or how but eventually we will all go.
The past is gone, the future is undefined, but this very minute is yours to enjoy. How are you spending it? Are you reading this article when you should be apologizing or saying “I love you” to someone? Should you be making steps to getting out of debt or taking time for yourself?
What should you be doing with this gift of time? This very hour, minute, second.

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