A Little Happier: What Seems Important Isn’t Always What’s Actually Important

I’m writing my Secrets of Adulthood, and one of my Secrets of Adulthood is: What seems important isn’t always what is important.

  • When the first Roman emperor Caesar Augustus died, he’d nearly doubled the size of the empire, defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt, ended civil wars, streamlined administration, fostered trade, funded numerous construction projects, and fostered the arts. Looking back, the most significant historical event during his reign was…the birth of Jesus.
  • The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. It led to carnage on a massive scale and spurred technological advances in the use of warplanes, submarines, machine guns, artillery, tanks, and poison gas. The war killed less than a third as many people as….the flu. 
  • Many successful, highly respected, and prolific writers, such as J. M. Barrie, Hans Christian Andersen, E. B. White, Robert Louis Stevenson, C. S. Lewis, and Rudyard Kipling are best remembered, after their deaths, for the works they created…for children.

I often see this truth in my own life. Looking back, what seemed important when events were unfolding isn’t what was actually most important.




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