The daily checklist for life

Guest column

We go through our lives with a plan or, should I say, a checklist for many daily routines: grocery lists, appointments, daily tasks, meetings, etc. We deem these as so important that we do not want to forget them. Therefore, we write them down or enter the data into our smartphones, computers, etc.

The following question is applicable, ranging from young adolescents to adults in the winter of their lives. Do you have your own checklist for life? I will share with all of you my personal checklist, for what it’s worth; you can choose to use it or not.

— Faith: The time in prayer and reflection adds to my inner well-being. This enables me to understand and to withstand the challenges, sorrows and support of people as I traverse the path of life.

— Values: Honesty, service, responsibility, respect, faith, inner harmony, compassion, fairness, kindness, loyalty, etc. The aforementioned are some of the values that have been taught to me by my parents and others as well as what I have learned through my faith. They have enabled me to work with peers, friends and communities. These values act as a shield against the onslaught of negative influences that would compromise my ethics.

— Finding purpose in life: For myself, I have found my purpose in life, and it is working with adults, children and communities. The inner joy experienced in helping others has given my life purpose and continues to do so in a multitude of ways, such as recently coaching and volunteering at a local nursing home, etc.

— Family and friends: As stated in previous columns, my family and friends have been tremendously supportive of me. This has enabled me to resist the despondency that attempts at times to permeate my life. Their support has enabled me to withstand the various potholes, curves, and dead ends that life sometimes surprises us with. For example, when my sister was tragically killed in an automobile accident, it was not only my faith that pulled me through, but also family and friends, who were there for me and spent time comforting me.

The above checklist, though battered and worn, has enabled me to map the course of my life through and around various detours, accidents, washouts, landslides, et cetera.

So, I ask you: What is your checklist for your life? He may ask that in the future.

Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His articles focus on education, old-fashioned family values, relationships and other topics. His website is at