There's an old story about Alfred Nobel. It seems that when his brother died, late in the 19th Century, an obituary writer got the story wrong. Instead of writing about the brother, the paper's obit mistakenly said that Alfred had died. Worse yet, it described him as the inventor of "the most destructive substance ever created."
This apparently bothered Alfred Nobel so much that he created the Nobel Peace Prize, a way to celebrate those who work for the good of society instead of its destruction. (BTW, he created dynamite not as a weapon but as a way to help in the construction company his father started.)
I tell that story sometimes when I speak to audiences because it's a great way to have people reflect on their own legacies. What will people say about you at your death? If you could write your own obit, what would would the headline be? A bit morbid, maybe, but effective.
Now, there is a mini-version playing out real time in Chile. The miners trapped miles below the Earth's surface have a long, long time to wait before their rescue. Some estimates say they likely will wait months before they are extricated. And, no doubt, they have had to ponder their own mortality and the relative importance of the different pieces of their lives.
So, I was intrigued with the New York Times piece about the video that the men sent to the world with the video camera that had been lowered down. Try as I might, I couldn't find a single mention of "I miss my house, I miss my car, I miss my stuff." Duh, of course not: They miss their families, their friends, their loved ones. They miss their communities.
Why do we spend so much time and effort on creature comforts and objects that never really matter? The miners would tell you: Focus on the relationships. You never know when they might be gone.