What Matters? A Thought For The Decade


A Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end. It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example. What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters. It really matters!

Michael Josephson


May Be Ugly

Average Income in the United States Will Continue to Drop in 2009

Median household income in the United States has been in a freefall over the past few years due to the “Great Recession”. In inflation adjusted dollars, the last time that the median household income in the United States was $50,303 or lower was 1997. This is a staggering drop that has completely erased all of the gains made in the beginning and middle stages of the decade.

2009 should be even worse, as many are expecting that median household income in the United States could drop as much as 5%. This would leave us with a median household income number of about $47,800. This would be the lowest such number, in inflation adjusted dollars, since 1995.