What does really matter?

[This is a reprint from my second book, “Something Curious, Book 2: Simply Awed (expressions in poems, vignettes and dreams)” published in late 2016.  It’s a contemplative piece that aims to remind how one’s perspective defines the significance of the moment or of the day.  Trivial mundane things pale against what’s important, or what really matters.  In my article, I share that it took a young little boy (my grandson) to remind his Lola (Grandma, and that’s me) that her propensity for trivia veils the proper curiosity for matters more important.  The upshot is, it was “fun” to ask. In concurrence with the general theme of the book, my article is clinched with a reflection.]

Our grandson is a bundle of delight. When he started kindergarten two years ago, we, his Lolo and Lola (Grandpa and Grandma) were all curiosity to know how he felt about school and the activities he experienced. With little control and all interest, I bombarded this little kid with questions which he either answered forthrightly, or refused to answer. The latter happened when my questions tended to be trivial and perhaps unnecessary. I’m the grandma who clings to every word my grandson utters. His words are music to my eager ears. But I admit, my questions then bordered between silly and obvious. To such inquiries, my perceptive grandson responded, “Does it matter? It doesn’t really matter.” A very adult-like comment from a 5-year old.

He was right. There are mundane questions that need not be answered. Whatever response I wanted to hear did not really matter. There are silly thoughts that fill our mental space and crowd out what really are more deserving of attention and consideration or conversation. Thus, the things that don’t matter, sadly, emerge the primaries that become the residual noise and clutter of our minds. My grandson is wise: there are things important, and there are things not important. I could have asked, “what was the first lesson you learned from the teacher today?” I might have gotten an ear full. Instead, my curiosity included, “what color of socks did you wear”, “what was the color of the chair you sat on”, “what did you have for lunch?” and “was it a boy or girl who sat beside you?”. But this grandma was interested in details that were sort of important then, but maybe I simply wanted to chat with this darling boy.

Now, I often remember my grandson’s retort when I tend to worry over mundane and insignificant things. I remind myself, “It doesn’t matter; does it really matter?” And then, move on.

Reflection: Words from the mouths of babes can be guides for the soul. The wisdom of little children is endearing, a blessing that I am so thankful for. Life is wrought with trivial details that can overshadow the essentials that truly matter. God gives gentle reminders, like observations or comments from a child. They are gems, and I thank God for them.

Linda P. Jacob