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Four Precious Commodities

by Nathaniel Geyer, DrPH, CPH, GISP

I feel like the most precious commodity is time. Each person only has a finite amount of time, and it is important to choose to use this time in productive ways. Unfortunately, there are tons of negative influences, so I choose to use my finite time to find my niche and promote positive social change. It is through time that allows the person to focus on relationships, health, and money.

I also feel like most people choose to focus on the past or future rather than the present. The past is gone and if you dwell too long leads to regrets and misery. The future is uncertain and making inflexible plans is not realistic and leads to uncertainty and confrontation. The present time is the reality and if we waste it foolishly causes people to miss out on relationships, health, and money.

After time the second precious commodity is relationships, especially helping the widows and orphans. I refuse to live in a society that disenfranchises these groups. For example, when my grandfather died my widowed grandmother kept getting spam email after the obituary appeared in the newspaper. My family had to step in and tell the telemarketers to stop picking on widowed people, by filing a complaint with the do not call list. In my mind, I include orphans who are estranged from biological families, ether by adoption or death.

Being adopted, I choose to spend time with my chosen family rather than biological family. I realize that my chosen family may not understand me at times, but I value their thoughts and feelings to increase my empathy towards widows and orphans, and to build bridges.

The third precious commodity is health, both physically and mentally. Also, keeping a stable mental and physical health is critical to maintain, especially with people with disabilities. I have seen many co-morbidities amongst people with disabilities, like diabetes or obesity, that decrease quality of life. Unfortunately, I have only prioritized my mental health and regret that I neglected my physical health for more than 10 years. My hope is that over the next decade I want to improve my physical health to improve my quality of life, so that my health is sustainable.

The fourth and least precious commodity is money because it comes and goes and leads to long-term ruin if not managed appropriately. If too much time is spent pursuing money than time is wasted, relationships fail, and health may deteriorate over time. I have spent my time pursuing my goals to earn a doctorate and succeed in my career, only to see the other commodities In life be imbalanced. it is important to have balance and not to gain the world and lose my soul. I am slowly choosing to better manage my time, relationships, and health to better society and help those who are disenfranchised.

My hope is that people start to prioritize these four things in a way that improves society for the better.


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