In six decades on earth, I’ve learned that these things are worth doing.
Learning. Because knowing a thing you didn’t know before is a joy in itself. This is as essential to me as it was when I was small — it keeps me going.
Teaching. Because that is how you can bring the joy of learning to others.
Nurturing. People need your help. Some are two. Some are 86. Some work next to you. Some sleep next to you. Sooner or later, they return what you give them — or you returning what they gave you?
Enjoying. We have eyes and bodies and tongues and brains. They deserve a little stimulation. Not too much.
I think a lot about what people will remember when I’m gone. (It’s not because I’m older; I thought about it a lot when I was 20, too.)
They will remember the teaching and nurturing, I hope. That’s part of why I write, to make that as permanent as I can.
They will remember what I learned only if I can pass it on. That’s another reason why I write.
They won’t remember the things I enjoyed. But I have learned to enjoy writing, and that makes it all the sweeter.
I have tried leading, which you might call nurturing at scale. It’s not what I’m best at. Writing is. It’s a way of leading without the troublesome power dynamic.
Here’s the thing I find less and less interesting: owning. Most of the stuff doesn’t bring joy, adds clutter, needs maintenance, and then takes up space in the trash.
So on the days I am feeling smart, there will be more learning and teaching and nurturing, a bit of enjoying, and as little buying as possible.
What are the things you find worth doing?