The Most Important Things in Life: What You Need to Know

Devin C. Hughes
2 min readDec 18, 2023

This Fall, I attended a funeral, which profoundly affected me. It was for a former childhood friend whose life was cut short by a sudden illness. I arrived early and watched diverse people arrive to pay their final respects — young, old, mom, dad, extended family, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, teammates, and college friends. I had no idea he had touched so many people in 40+ years.

When the service began, I could not help but reflect on the many positive experiences he and I shared as kids. I found myself smiling as I thought of all the mischief we got into together.

They say life works in mysterious ways, and I agree as I often find uncommon insight from uncommon places. I had no idea he had accomplished so much while affecting many people. It was not his professional accomplishments that surprised me but rather his growth as a man and the legacy he left in his community. From how others described him, it was apparent that he led a rich but loving life. I found myself pondering what seems to be a cliché, yet worth asking:

Who would show up if this were my funeral today, and what would they say?

Few would care about my new automobile, the square footage of my home, the Rolex watch, my jeans collection, or the numerous awards I received for outstanding achievements…

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Devin C. Hughes

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate | www.devinchughes.com