Whenever one visits a cemetery the descriptions on the headstones have a certain theme to them. It is never about what job the person did. It is not about their sporting prowess. It is not about the size of their house, whether they owned a yacht or even about a business they may have run.
Headstones always describe the most important relationships. Here lies the mother of, the father of, the son of, the daughter of and so it goes. As Christmas approaches it is worth reminding ourselves about the importance of our relationships with both family and friends. We often get so caught up in stuff that happens that we lose sight of the big picture.
How important would that work deadline be if your child were critically ill in hospital? If you knew the person you just yelled at might be dead next week would you behaved differently? Would that mess on the floor seem so serious if the person responsible was no longer alive?
Yes these are extreme examples and we are entitled to express our views and displeasure at times with others and what they do, which drives us batty. Yet much of what we make out to be important is just “stuff”. Most of this stuff will be forgotten in a day or week to be replaced by more stuff.
Whilst Christmas can be a time of joy it can also be a time of sadness for those who are bereaved or have had family upsets. Locally in the last few weeks there has been the death of a mother and two girls (thought to be murder/suicide) and the passing of a prominent local businessman at the age of only 49! Other losses may not make the newspaper but are no less significant for those affected.
Christmas can also be stressful when families who may not get along, get together and often arguments and even violence can erupt after lunch and some alcohol.
Is there an answer? Short answer is yes. Ultimately the solution lies in our hands. How we treat others is up to us. And interestingly how others treat us will often reflect back what we put out. Yes, not always and sometimes we just have to pull away.
This Christmas reflect on what really matters and what you would do if you might not see people again. Then act towards them in that light.
I would like to thank all my readers for their support this year.
Best wishes to you all for the festive season.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases and is an advisor to Reed Medical Conferences.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA.