Things that matter

This post is dedicated to Lady M.

We are born: we are nurtured by our moms, cuddled by them, pampered all the time…from where we stand: life is perfect!
We grow up a bit: we feel life isn’t so perfect anymore…”Mom, can I have that toy?” “No”…get the picture? (In our infantile ignorance we fail to grasp the relevance of having some of our wishes denied).
We become teenagers: “responsibility” is the word of the day, and we start feeling that our parents enslave us (“do this…do that!” “You can’t go out before finishing your task!” etc); we fall in love, we come across rejection, heart-breaks, adjustments, irresolution, uncertainties, insecurity, immaturity, curiosity…hormones affecting our judgment…
We become adults: uncertainty and insecurity may continue to exist (immaturity even, in some cases). However after 25 we start analyzing our existence, making serious decisions about the future and, reviewing our stance in life. Responsibility has a real meaning, and weight, at this point: work, a house, a car, (later) marriage, kids, school…savings, leases, loans, mortgages, IRS, Social Security…you name it!

This happens all over the world: from North to South, from East to West!
But I ask: what are the things that really connect us all? What are the things that lead to the concatenation of our thoughts and concerns?
My answer is:

  • Love: this is a sentiment that knows no age, racial, religious nor institutional boundaries.
  • Respect: a consideration that is highly appreciated by every culture on earth.
  • Compassion: a feeling recognized by everyone. It is a soul-soothing tool.
  • Generosity: it should be present in everything we do. For instance, when we criticise someone we should do it with generosity (we should criticise with the intent of teaching something, achieving improvement), when we fight we should be generous (by understanding the reason why we’re fighting, and at the same time by respecting the opponent).
  • Sympathy: a quality that draws people together. When sympathy is natural in a person (cause there are those who fake it, with a certain purpose) life seems to be generous towards that being.
  • Family: our first school. A family is a small reflection of society, for it shows us all the tools we’ll use to cope with life – denial, disappointment, rejection, frustration, fights, conquest, competition, union, happiness…violation of democracy (and in some families: invasion of privacy).
  • Friendship: more precious than gold, yet more rare than diamonds. We all have at least one good friend in life (and I am talking about friendship extra-family) that we must cherish with all our power. As Saint-Exupery said in “Little Prince”: “we are responsible for those we captivate”.
  • Frustration: not pleasant. However it is our cement. Once we learn how to manage it, it becomes a very important shield against adversities.

We are so caught up in our personal issues, ambitions, doubts, questions, fruitless actions and conversations that we seem to overlook the things that really matter: love, respect, compassion, generosity, sympathy, friendship and family.


  1. LOVE this post, Max!!!

    I have nothing else to say to this he he he he...I just nodded and nodded and nodded. ;-D

  2. Very true !

    Your post makes me think of a photo exhibition which toured the world in 2002-2003 - I caught it twice in the South Pacific.

    Here is the link if you feel like having a look :


    I bought the book cause I loved the pictures so much !

  3. Very Nice Post, enjoyed reading it. Anna :)

  4. You're right, we are linked by these qualities, as well as many others, that seem to make up the human condition.

    I am 40 now and I still feel the same inside as I did when I was 20. Only maybe a little wiser . . .

    At the same time, "looking back at all the things I have done in my life, it seems like I did them all the first time I was on Earth."(that's a quote from my great-great-great-uncle William A. Moses)

    Great post, and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.


  5. Max,
    I really love the way you constructed this blueprint of life. It's so true. When we are born, we are in shock and some of us never get out of that stage of being a neophyte.

    Experience is the best teacher, it molds us into place or knocks us down flat. When we clear our ego, we live freely.

    Great post.

  6. Hi Max;

    Great article!

    We seem to get so deep into self that we do not think of other or the Other. You cannot exercise any of the things you mention in your concluding paragraph in isolation, all of them have to be exercised in some kind of community; I believe that is by design.

  7. Hi, Max! I've tagged you on a meme that is quite an honor to be part of! Congratulations! :)

  8. What does really matter...

    What matters to me, does it really matter to you?

    Is there a GLOBAL consent about the inner value of "things"?

    In my opinion people evolute to a kind of acting standard that will take several years, to define it as a pattern. Eventhough, this behaviour grows exponentiallly, so it is expected and means that our shared values are more widelly accepted.

    Ok, there are exceptions, but how could we evolute if it wasn't for our differences and needs?

    In sum, i agree, share and apply that values.... but at the end:

    ...." usas's petroleum barrel is on the way to 100$"....

  9. You have been tagged for The Personal Development List. (The is a button in my side bar that will take you to the list, if you need more details), I would love for you to participate.

  10. By the way Max very interesting image you used for this article! I must have been slow when I was here wrinting my last comment.

  11. You have a good blog out there :) philosophize more and more!

  12. Hi, Max!!

    I've tagged with you with the "Nonsense Story Meme..."

  13. Max,
    I can see why you have been added to the Personal Development list. This post alone earns you the right to be there. WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Wow, I am surprised I haven't read this post. But how true, how absolutely true.

    It's a quite boring cycle isn't it... We grow up, we mature and we die...

    At the age of 25, that's a very interesting age, I am wondering why you chose that.

    For me, I have began to think how to get my first house and I am 19. Then again, maybe it's just me, I worry too much.

    I agree with every point especially love. Love is one of the things every race around the world shares.

    Fabulous post! I just love the way you analyzed these situations!!

    Keep it up Max!!

  15. Thanks for reading. Despite the wedges of difference that are forced between us, we should acknowledge the webs of similarity that bind us together. Together we're strong.


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