My parents got it spot on.
Looking back I now realize that my parents knew what was essential -- relationships. They lived very simply and focused on family, relatives and a close set of friends. We normally ate at home and eating out was a big treat. Shopping was an affair that was pre-planned and we only went shopping when needed. And the preference was to stay at home.
My Kuya during my Mom's 80th birthday celebration shared that our parents really lived up to be a true Christian. Our home was home to whoever needed a home. We always had extended family who lived with us and my parents always extended a helping hand to those who needed it. I remember my Dad worked on a project that freed prisoners who were innocent but jailed. And he gave free legal advise for those who needed it. My Mom mentioned that early on in their marriage farmers would come to their home bearing live chickens as a thank you for my Dad's legal advise.
And what Mr. Waldinger shared is so true. Happiness and satisfaction isn't about being rich or famous. It's about being in good relationships. And that's why my prayer for this year is to have my family together in one country (so I'm not so sickly!).