Wait a minute, you say. How could I possibly know your two greatest assets, especially if I have never even met you? I don’t know how much money you have or make, what kinds of things you own or what investments you have, how good looking/intelligent/funny you are, who your friends/personal contacts are, whom you’re related to, what degree(s) or professional license(s) you have, where you went to school (if you went to school), where you work, what your own unique talents and skills are, what your reputation is like, what your personality is like, what your spiritual life and/or community consists of, where you live, what’s on your resume/CV, or perhaps anything whatsoever about the day-to-day reality of your life at all.
Well, I still think I have a pretty good idea.
Because they’re pretty much the same for everyone:
Greatest Asset #1 – Your Health (to whatever degree you have it)
Without this, none of the above things matter much. If you woke up relatively healthy today, you are blessed. Blessed, I say!!! Being healthy is the gift that makes any and all other good fortune possible. With such a precious gift at your disposal, the world is your oyster. There are so many things you can choose to do and/or appreciate, none of which would be possible without your health. Of course, people have varying degrees of health at various times.
All the more reason to savor the health that you have.
Whichever of your bodily systems are functioning well, and to whatever extent you have sound mental and emotional health, you won’t have these things forever. None of us will, to state the obvious-yet-so-often-overlooked.
You might argue that good health is relative, and I would agree. But if you are at all feeling sorry for yourself or focusing on the poorer aspects of your health rather than the faculties that are still yours to enjoy (and this is a quite common thing to do), I submit to you the case of Jean-Dominique Bauby, whose story you can read all about in his memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (or you can view the film of the same name based on his book). Then see if his example doesn’t put things in perspective and make you more acutely aware of how truly blessed you are!
Greatest Asset #2 – Your Time
Time is a construct of us bipeds. All there ever is, of course, is Now. But this construct we call “time” has its uses and its usefulness – the main one, perhaps, being a comprehension of finitude. Nothing makes life quite so precious as the fact that it is so transitory. No matter how wonderful – or miserable – your current situation happens to be at this particular moment, it’s going to change (I actually see this as the most merciful aspect of life in this Universe…no matter how excruciating one’s degree of suffering might be – and there certainly is an impressive variety out there – it is inherently temporary).
As with your other Greatest Asset – your health – time is yours for a limited time only. It’s because of this simple fact that your choices matter. What you decide to do, whom you “spend” your time with, what you devote yourself to, where you put your energy…these things matter (if not in the grand scheme of things, then certainly to the quality of your own life) because they occur at the expense of every other possible decision you could make. It would follow, then, that one should not be completely cavalier about one’s time. Because, as if the reality of finitude weren’t enough, most of us – most of the time – don’t have any idea how much more of this priceless, invaluable asset we have left. We don’t know how many tomorrows there will be for us. And yet, how many of us really take this into account on any given day, and act accordingly?
Your HEALTH and your TIME: how will you use these two greatest assets? Will you protect them? Treasure them? Will you make the most of them, knowing that – in the end – they may be all you really have?