The Oldest of Lessons

Since his release, Alan Johnson, the BBC correspondent, has commented; “in my captivity in Gaza, I learnt again that oldest of lessons. That in life, all that really, really matters are the people you love“.

He also reflects “Even now, more than three months after I was freed, it can still seem faintly magical to do the simplest things, like walk down a street in the sunshine, or sit in a cafe with a newspaper”.

He wasn’t the first person to experience such reflections. I’ve known many people who’ve come to profound appreciations about the value of life, often as a result of a crisis point in their lives. 

Modern life can certainly skew our sense of perspective and values to the point where we make unimportant things important under the duress of short-term pressure, and important things become less important.

Under the speed, jangle and thrust of life it can become all too easy to take for granted those things we value most – until they are at risk.

In my experience the people who rarely have work-life balance issues are those that have a strong sense of their values and a healthy perspective about their work. 

Happiness, well-being, settlement and fulfilment for these people is not centred around the next deal or the next promotion. It comes from their own sense of self value and worth, confirmed by those they love.

Such qualities give a person a sense of being centred, at home with themselves. Whatever life throws up they always have the inner strength to deal with it. This in turn gives them more endurance and forbearance and the ability to weather daily trials and disappointments.

Take some time to remind yourself of what you really value – what and who in your life are really important.

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