A friend of mine’s child asked him a simple enough question the other day that struck both of us as so simple on the surface, but rather profound the more you pondered it.
“Daddy,” he asked, “what do you mean when you say something is unimportant?”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
My friend replied something along the lines of “oh you know, things that aren’t really valuable or special or whatever”.
“So,” the kid asked, “what is unimportant to you?”
It strikes me that we spend an awful lot of time trying to define what’s important to us; but how much time are we spending on the things we’d say are unimportant to us? And really, how unimportant are those things?
For example, off the bat I’d say that the television is unimportant to me. But is it really? Over the last 12 months I’ve purchased two sets- one for downstairs and one for the 3rd floor office space. I pay the cable company dearly every month for over 1300 channels, so it seems disingenuous to say that it’s unimportant to me. Less important to me than food, yes. But not unimportant.
And it’s kind of the same for everything that my knee-jerk reaction is to proudly proclaim myself to be unattached to and above finding important: computers, cell phones, electronic games, what others think of me, what kind of car I drive, what I wear, where I live, etc..
So I’m still trying to figure out exactly what is unimportant to me. So far I’ve come up with Jenga, O’Charley’s restaurants, and Will Ferrell movies. And, to be honest, I might just find Will Ferrell movies distasteful enough to let fall in the “Things I Hate” category rather than declare them "unimportant".