Almost everything is unimportant.
If I would have said that to you a month ago, you may have laughed at me and dismissed me away with a slight of hand.
But I’d argue that today, you might be in a little more agreement.
As you huddle up in your house (which I am assuming you are today) along with the rest of the nation and much of the world, do you view everything that you felt was important a month ago with the same importance today?
I’m going to guess that it’s a no.
The hustle, bustle and busy has been replaced by quiet, connection and simpleness.
We’ve seen the economy take a major hit and a virus never seen before spread throughout our world, creating sickness, death and a reshaping of how we live our daily lives. But I would argue, with all of the madness, that this could be the best thing that has happened to our culture for a long time. Does that sound crazy? Insensitive maybe?
Aside from the internet and the relentless news cycle, we’ve been forced to go cold turkey on our habits, like a junkie who had it’s stash pulled away with no clue when he’d get the next. Businesses have been closed, sending almost everyone home. Professional sports has been put on the shelf. Hollywood and the entertainment industry has been shut down, the movie theaters are empty and some are in danger of closing. Concerts, shows- nearly every form of entertainment has been eliminated for the time being. Traffic jams, commuting, endless consuming and shipping our kids off to school has stopped. And with everything coming to a grinding halt, the world has been forced to ask itself an uncomfortable but vital question.
I don’t know what it is for you, but I can tell you what it is for me. Time with my wife and kids. Doing work that I love, that helps the people who want and need it. Friendships. Real friendships. Health, calm, and the freedom to control my time, being able to travel to places we love to go, and living life on our terms.
Maybe it’s just understanding myself better, but I don’t care to be entertained much anymore. I don’t want to trade evenings of my life to watch sports, or actors, on television. I don’t want to commute to a job that doesn’t fulfill me or others. I don’t want to tell my friends I’m too busy to call. I don’t want to spend my time on the unimportant.
This change that we’re all going through together- it’s overdue. As Brooks, from Shawshank Redemption said, “The world has gotten itself into a big, damn hurry.” And we’ve been sold a bill of goods, for all of these years, that the unimportant is actually important.
We’re seeing families become closer than ever. We’re seeing couples who have avoided each other, be forced to settling issues, learn and grow because their patterns have shifted away from the unimportant to the important. We’re seeing business owners realize that they need less time to do the work that they need to do, and becoming more efficient than ever.
And most importantly, people are forced to slow down and pay attention to the few things that really matter, and ignore most of the things that do not.
And it might the best thing that’s happened to our culture.