A World Without You In It?
A few days ago, we wrote:
Real self esteem is derived from 'selfless esteem.' No matter what great strides we have made in technology and interdependent economies and societies, we must make a difference in the lives of others if we are to make a difference and find meaning in our own lives. Information and technology will not make our world a better place. They can contribute to the effort, but no more. We want to pick up on that theme, because left unanswered is a simple question:Do our lives really matter? Would the world be a different had we not been born?
On the face of it, we are part of a disposable and dispersible world. Whole populations are killed and are seemingly forgotten. As events around us fly by at the speed of light, there is no real sense that our lives- or anyone else's for that matter, are of significant or meaningful merit in the great scheme of things.
In fact, we suffer a kind of debilitating malaise- “Nothing I do or say really matters.” There is the belief that whether or not we contribute anything to the the world and those around us, the world would be no different. It is the 'my vote doesn't really count' school of thought. No matter our efforts, nothing will ever really change.
If you truly believe that your efforts and contributions are meaningless, can you really know and have passion? What can you truly look forward to, what will truly excite you? To what can you truly be committed? Will you ever know that 'fire in the belly'?
Of course, that way of thinking is skewed. You matter because you were born. For those of you that believe in God, man's destiny is waiting to be written by virtue of your efforts and passions. For those of you that do not believe in God, the power and potential of man is in your hands. This means that your very existence is vital. You are indispensable to mankind.
What notes will you choose to play in the symphony of life? Will you add to the music, or will your efforts be lacking, resulting in a hollowness?
Many people have had the great misfortune of growing up in less than ideal, or even dysfunctional families. There is no question that many of us, in one form or another, carry a certain amount of 'baggage.' That truth begs another question: “Is my worth based on whether or not I was valued at home by my immediate family, is it based on my achievements, or, do I matter because I exist?”
The almost universal knee jerk reaction is, “Of course I matter! My family, friends and community value and love me!”
Now, ask yourself again, that initial question- would it make a difference if you were never born? Would those around you be poorer for not knowing you?
In fact, you do matter. Not because of your wealth or looks, or productivity or great ideas. You matter because you were born- and because of the potential contributions you might make in that symphony of life. In fact, there are those notes that only you can play. You are irreplaceable. Just ask those people who love you and care for you. It is incumbent upon you to contribute to their lives and their well being. That in fact, is the greatest of destinies- to transform and make better, those around you. If you can do that, you will have changed lives, forever.
Once you understand those truths, that you know that you and what you contribute are essential to the wellbeing of others, the passion and fire cannot be extinguished.
There is much tragedy and suffering in this world. If every person understood that they matter, their lives matter and the notes they play matter, they would come to understand that they are indispensable and of great value.
People who believe and know they matter are capable of great things.
We quoted someone who understood what was really important:
...said that the home of man is his wife. I'm very sorry that my home is not here. My home had the biggest impact on my life. She always told me: 'You scientists can write endless articles, but most of them will be forgotten over the years. I influence the education of my children, and I too will be forgotten in another 150 years – but my influence will exist, and dozens and hundreds of children will walk around who were influenced by me...' You matter a lot more than you think.