Bioethics Discussion Blog: What Matters Most in Life?

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Matters Most in Life?

I would like to take a survey of my visitors regarding what to each visitor matters most in life. This survey is based on the things described in the Gallup-International Millennium survey of a representative sample of 50,000 people around the world. Perhaps it is best for our survey that the visitor doesn't read the results of Gallup before answering. If you respond and don't live in the United States, please note the country where you do live.

Here is the survey question by Gallup:

What matters most in Life?

Tell me only the two things that matters the very most in life?

• To have a job
• To get an education
• To be faithful to my religion
• To have a good standard of living
• To live in a country where there is not war
• To have a happy family life
• To live in freedom
• To live in a country without violence and corruption
• To have good health


Remember.. tell only two things from the list. However, I would encourage you to make a commentary about why you selected those two. ..Maurice.

12 Comments:

At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to be sneaky and say freedom and a good standard of living are the most important -- they encompass so many of the others. Freedom implies a country which is not at war, violent, nor corrupt. Jobs, education, and good health tend to go hand in hand with a good standard of living, and freedom gives you the right to work toward religious faith and a happy family life. (A happy family life would be my third pick, actually). Conversely a poor standard of living is hard on family life, and religious obligations.

I'll be very interested to hear others' points of view, though, including yours Dr. B.

-- PG

 
At Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous bob koepp said...

I'd put freedom at the top of the list, probably to be followed by health, since I take quite seriously the adage that "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

One problem, though, with exercises like this, is that you are forced to make judgments of the "either-or" variety, while the real world admits of degrees.

 
At Thursday, December 13, 2007 3:26:00 PM, Blogger Shary said...

I would vote for health and a happy family life. Without health, no one can enjoy the freedom and high standard of living that we all desire. As for a happy family life, I think it's a fundamental block of satisfaction. I would venture to say that a poor man with a loving wife and family in a corrupt regime is still happier than a well-educated and highly paid man in a free society, if that latter man is lonely.

 
At Thursday, December 13, 2007 3:38:00 PM, Blogger MY OWN WOMAN... said...

The one thing that matters most to me isn't on the list; I suppose it's because it's selfish. But...if I had to pick from the things on the list I'd have to say:
1. Freedom. I like expressing my thoughts and opinions without the knowledge that I may be put in jail for ideas that are opposed to the powers that be; eventhough even in this free democracy that isn't always the case. 2. Happy Family Life. I like the idea that I can communicate freely with my children and they are not afraid to communicate with me. I like to live in harmony with the ones that I love, and if harmony doesn't exist, I like working until it does.

 
At Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Bob, you wrote: One problem, though, with exercises like this, is that you are forced to make judgments of the "either-or" variety, while the real world admits of degrees.

This exercise does allow one to select 2 things which matter the most in life. One might still expect that these 2 things could easily trump any of the other possible selections no matter to what degree those other things are present. Or am I missing what you were trying to express? ..Maurice.

 
At Friday, December 14, 2007 8:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would vote for happy family life and good health. If I have a happy family, full of love, then one has support to go through almost anything. With good health, you can go out there and look for the job, education, etc. A happy family covers a lot of thing; it implies, that the basic necessities are already taken care of i.e. We cannot be happy if we are living in a ditch surrounded by land mines, or the children are going to bed hungry. Religion is such a great part of me that for me to be happy I would have to be free to worship. To me these two cover most of the others items.

 
At Saturday, December 15, 2007 4:27:00 PM, Blogger Chrysalis Angel said...

I agree with anonymous. If you have your health you are then able to move forward and get a good education, followed by a good job, which then provides a good standard of living. I feel too, that education leads to freedom in many things.

Education brings freedom from poverty, and freedom to let others express faith in their various forms. It hopefully brings with it more understanding of others, instilling more knowledge of the differing cultures and their belief systems; thereby, hopefully, bringing an end to fighting with others as we come to understand one another. Albeit, it can not make up for our inherent human nature, violence and corruption have always been.

A happy home life, really should have been mentioned first, for I feel that good relationships bring forth health, and aid in healing if sickness should befall us. A happy home life forms the strong foundation that gives each of us the strength to go on, knowing we are loved and we have others to love is a driving force within each of us.

Sorry so long. Interesting blog you have here.

 
At Sunday, December 16, 2007 8:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm really interested in how many people have said good health. The reason this fascinates me is because I'm not in good health -- I have a chronic (and incurable) autoimmune disease, and while my case is relatively mild it certainly affects me. Nonetheless, I am happy -- I have some limitations, but I have learned a lot from poor health too, for example using and valuing each day that I can do what I like to do, each healthy day, each day where my pain is mild.

I'm not saying that good health isn't something to be valued -- treasured even -- I'm just surprised that so many people consider it a top two priority. Thanks, guys, for showing me such a different perspective.

-- PG

 
At Sunday, December 16, 2007 9:27:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

PG, don't take what others decide matters to them most in life as some advice to change your choices.
What matters most and what a person considers as the quality of life they desire is a purely personal decision and can be independent of what others set for themselves. Sometimes life deals you a certain set of cards and you have to play them as you see fit.
Our best wishes for you.. ..Maurice.

 
At Monday, December 17, 2007 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous TT said...

Freedom
Happy Family Life

TT

 
At Tuesday, December 25, 2007 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

health
happy family

good question. i agree with the person who says healthy and happy people living without freedom can be happier than ill/unhappy people living under fascism. i'm relatively healthy (with health symptoms i manage, that remind me regularly how healthier days are happier days) and in a happy marriage (if anyone is discontented, it's me...I have a very loving spouse, I'm going through a midlife-losing-my-looks crisis...I know I will value my husband even more after my looks fade away).

As for living in freedom. We live in relative freedom here, but I am very aware of political, corporate and media spin and don't feel we're as free as we're led to believe. I guess that may depend on how much of an activist you are. how much you feel the need to challenge the status quo and how much resistance you get.

 
At Saturday, October 04, 2008 4:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1)education
2)freedom

1) Education empowers you to improve your own lot if life and enables you to improve the lives of others.

2) Freedom to act on our beliefs and our education leads to happiness.

 

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