I think it’s a question that few of us stop to think about until we lose whatever it is that matters most.
I was just wondering what it is you regard to be the one thing you couldn’t live without.
It could be a loved one, some possession, beauty (though judging by the picture thread, I’m guessing that won’t be a popular choice :P) or being able to fulfill a life-long ambition or even life itself.
For me personally, I think it would be the ability to see. All my life I’ve subconsciously treated my eyes with a lot of care, being afraid to touch them and always shielding them from possible damage. Also, I feel really sorry for people who have lost their ability to see.
I know others are able to cope without eyesight but I don’t think I could. So much of what I do relies on them. The easiest way to find out what matters to you is to try to live without certain things and see how you get on. This is actually how I abandoned organised religion. By living without it, I felt no need to go back to it. I would recommend this practise to anyone as a regular exercise so that we continually adapt our lives into something we appreciate instead of just a habit in which we participate.
As Wordsworth would say:
Habit rules the unreflecting herd
There are other things I’d be afraid to lose such as the ability to hear and touch but I’d probably put eyesight at the top. Either that or losing my mind (just two brain cells to go). I guess what I fear most is being trapped in a helpless situation. Some people have a similar fear but represent it as a loss of personal freedom. To quote Lord of the Rings:
Aragorn: What do you fear, milady? Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.
So what is it that matters most to you?