My bucket list:
In any case why do so many bucket lists simply list expensive trips and material acquisition? One would think that in compiling a true bucket list, material acquisition would be of little concern and no value. What about personal challenges, charitable work or anything not self-absorbed? Maybe the issue is our forurm so its back to Medecins Sans Frontieres for me.
Allow me to help you out. The idea behind the 'Bucket List' is in fact that you make a list of things YOU would LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH before you kick that bucket.
All the things you list? Those are things that I do all the time. I personally have tried to live the same life as my father. Go out of my way to help those in need. I cannot tell you how many times, when on the road, I stop and help someone broke down on the side of the road.
Dead of winter, at night, on our way to a party, an older lady (in her eighties) sitting on the side of I-70 in Denver with a flat tire while the snow swirled around her car. Fearing that someone might rear end her, I parked about 100 yards back (meters to you metric folks), put on my hazards on my CJ7 jeep, pulled out two flares, walked another 100 yards back, lit one and dropped it there, then back another 100 yards and lit the other one.
I then hoofed it back to her car, got her to pop the truck. I got her spare out, got my cross bar lug nut removal tool and my larger portable floor jack out of the back of my jeep and loosened the lug nuts and then raised the car (large Plymouth if my memory serves), got the flat off, replaced with the spare, threw the flat in the trunk and sent her on her way, refusing the payment she offered. By the time I had stowed my equipment, the flares were just burning out as the snow storm intensified. I caught a 'ration' for being late to the party, until the wife explained why. That stopped all the 'stuff' flying my way.
I've even been the first on scene of a horrific head on collision between two vehicles on I-25 at Raton, NM. Northbound car driver fell asleep and hit the south bound driver head on. Being first on scene I 'inspected' without touching the three people in the two vehicles. Here is what I found.
North bound had two occupants, one died on impact, the other survived with multiple broken bones. South bound guy's right hand was sheared off because of the impact. He was in shock, but survived (I found out later). But I was first on scene and told the ambulance guys which ones needed help and which one was dead. I WILL NEVER SHAKE the view I had of the old man in the south bound car and when I got to him he was just sitting there, stunned. I lifted the sweater that had flown over his shoulder from the back seat to check him and saw his hand sitting in his lap, not attached to anything.
So, just because we have a 'bucket list' does NOT mean we don't do all the things you list. Everyone should be doing THOSE every day. A bucket list is a 'once in a life time' opportunity. And if you get lucky, you get to do something you've always wanted to do. I've volunteered at so many times at so many places, I don't remember them all. Plus, with my MIL in a nursing home, I go out of my way to not only talk to but shake the hand of every senior MAN there (not as many as the women) and say 'good day' to every senior that smiles or nods my way. IF the women wish to talk, I take the time and inquire as to how they are doing.
I have seen MANY of them pass on in the past two years. In most cases, they were on their last legs, but sometimes I'll go in and find 'so and so died, kidney failure' and I think to myself, 'wow, they seemed the paragon of health'. Some times those little things, taking the time to actually acknowledge another person, goes so far you have no idea.
You want to really 'make a difference'? Start visiting a nursing home. Not every day, but once a week. Get to know the people who live there.
It's actually an interesting education. In your later years, say past sixty, you have the most 'stuff' you will accumulate. In the intervening twenty or thirty years, as you grow older, you go from a house/garage full of stuff to a nursing home, where ALL YOUR STUFF fits in a really small closet.
That was an eye opener to me. I've slowly started 'shedding' some of my stuff already. And I will continue to do so until I die. Hopefully by the time that occurs, I've sold off or given away all my stuff so my wife won't have to 'deal' with a mountain of stuff that only meant something to me. That will be an accomplishment. Not sure I have enough time.