What is essential?

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The child of tomorrow I realized may actually be ahead of us in sensing not what is new but what is essential.

-Pico Iyer

How often do we ask ourselves this question? Usually we are too busy, so it’s only when life throws us a curve ball that we are invited to step back and re-think what we think.

Or, you can have a conversation with a young person.

My youngest child, who is halfway through her high school experience, is asking herself this question. And, she isn’t buying into the values she was handed by her culture, gender, religion, or family. She is questioning, wondering, and accepting that living authentically is far more important than fulfilling pre-ordained standards. She sees her life as a blank canvas that she can make into anything she wants. Money isn’t important, nor fulfilling whatever she thinks others want for her. She doesn’t yet know what she wants, and that’s ok too.

But what she does know is that what is essential is being true to herself. Nothing else will bring her joy or meaning or success. So whether you are 15 or 50, perhaps it would be worth it to ask yourself—what is essential to me?

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