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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Keeping your priorities in the right order

A patient and I had a discussion about "priorities". It was what seems like ions ago now, but there was one thing she said that I will never forget.

She said: "In life, if you don't have your priorities straight, nothing ever works out. If you do not have your priorities straight, you will not succeed in your life."

She put her thumb up. "This is God. He is your number one priority. This pointer finger is your wife. This middle finger is your children. The ring finger is other people. And, least but not least, this pinky finger is other things.

"Now," she continued, "If you get these priorities out of place, nothing seems to work properly." She placed her thumb between her pointer and ring finger. "If you place God after your wife and before your children, you can't grip anything." She placed her thumb between the middle finger and ring finger. "If you place your thumb here, you still can't get a grip on anything."

"See," she opened up her hand, and gripped mine with hers, "the only way you can really grip things, have control of the things in your life, is to put your thumb before your other fingers. God, in essence, is like your thumb. If you have no God in your life, nothing works right.

"The same is true if you get other things in your life out of proper order. You must love your wife before your children, and love your children before other people. But you must always put other people before other things."

I told my priest about this before I was married, and he loved it so much that he used it during our wedding ceremony. Not only that, but he told me he also used it during Mass, giving me credit (not that I asked for credit, but it was nice).

So, that in mind, I thought I would take the time to list the priorities in my life. Perhaps you might do the same -- just for fun.
  1. God (however my relationship here is private)
  2. My wife
  3. My 4 children
  4. My parents and siblings and nieces and nephews
  5. My aunts and uncles and cousins
  6. My friends
  7. My co-workers
  8. My love of country (sure, I'd fight if I was asked)
  9. My job (way down here)
  10. My Column (it doesn't provide the benefits)
  11. My home (without the above I would not have it)
  12. Family entertainment
  13. Sleep
  14. Baseball (I love this sport, particularly the Detroit Tigers)
  15. Football, Basketball, Hockey
  16. Reading (which includes the news and any books)
  17. The Respiratory Therapy Cave
  18. Hardluck Asthma
  19. Reading blogs (I should move this higher)
  20. Politics (don't want to be an uninformed voter)
  21. Material things (which should explain why I don't have many toys)
It's important to remind ourselves of these priorities, because when they get out of order, things simply do not work, as I learned quickly after I was married when I had to move golf off this list, and had to quit collecting baseball cards (I would love to start that up again).

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