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Everything else is olive oil… or eggs

June 19, 2013

I am not proud to admit this, but for the sake of this blog post, I shall: I have been watching this show on Bravo called “Princesses: Long Island.” It is about self-proclaimed Jewish American princesses and their quest to find NJBs (nice Jewish boys) to marry. I watch this show, and I see these girls stressing about things like height and money and partying and perception and such, and I roll my eyes at the seemingly trivialness of their worries. And then I think about how I worry about running into people I don’t want to see and being awkward and bringing enough Tupperware to steal from E’s, and I realize that we all need to think about our values system and get it back on track because spending all this time worrying about petty nonsense will only decrease our life expectancies.

Lately, I’ve been working a lot, and I love where I work, but I do complain. And then I come home and I think about how much I loved last summer when I was in Italy and loved my feelings of independence and infallibility, and in these conversations that I have in my mind, I always come back to the value system I created in Italy, something I stand by today:

Four most important things in life:
The people in it
Doing good
Appreciating the moment
Really living

Everything else is olive oil, bonus goodness, I said. A revision: everything else is either olive oil (bonus goodness) or eggs (unnecessary and should be decreased).

Allow me to explain. These are what I believe to be the four most important things in life. I am nothing without my support system made out of my family, friends and mentors. I want to do good in addition to doing well because doing good gives my life purpose. I must appreciate the moment because only this second is guaranteed. I must really live because I live in my head way too much and must spend my time living in my heart and body.

Everything else is either olive oil or eggs. Italians put olive oil on everything to provide extra flavor, but the food is good without it. I enjoy it either way. Italians also like to put eggs on their pasta; I’m not an egg person, so I find the addition unnecessary and would prefer to eat my pasta without it. However, I’m willing to suck it up – deal with the crummy egg portion in order to eat the amazing pasta.

So beyond those four values, we find olive oil and eggs. For me, you and the princesses of Long Island, much of the things we spend time worrying about can be considered olive oil or eggs. Still important to the process known as life, but not important enough that any of it should take away from the deliciousness that is the process known as life.

So, I am calling for, in Nietzsche’s words, a transvaluation of values. Let’s return to giving those important things the priority slot in our minds — make sure people know you love them, do good, live your life — and put those less important olive oil and egg things farther down on the priority list. It will help us all to better appreciate the moment.

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