The world is constantly changing. It moves at a rapid pace, and if you do not keep up, it leaves us behind. Understanding it is the hardest thing you will ever do. It is easy to think you don’t matter, that you have no voice, no say in things. I’m here to tell you, you are wrong. That You do Matter. Here’s why:
Like preparing for a mega marathon, it requires more than just knowledge. You need the right equipment, and you need to know how to take care of that equipment to serve you and in case of emergency. You need the right people around you, people who are knowledgeable and willing to train you. And you need to be ready and willing to train, learn, and change. You can only learn when you are willing and ready. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Most of all, you need a reason to get to the finish line without quitting—a reason strong enough to quiet the voices in your head that make you want to give in.
In this vast world that moves so fast, we struggle to be relevant, influential, important, respected, loved, and—sometimes—just to be “seen.” I am the voice who shouts, “You Matter!” because you do, more than you might know. Sometimes you just need a little help to point you in the right direction.
The Tao Te Ching says, “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be” (emphasis added). I encourage you to be open to new ideas as you read this. I encourage you to let go of your past self and start anew.
I have a saying: “If you don’t like something, change it.” And remember, you are worth every ounce of effort and concentration that you put into yourself because You matter, even if you do not think so.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
You are born. You grow. You mature. You become an adult. You go to work. You may have children. You may have grandchildren. You may grow old. You may retire, or you may work until you die. You die. Is that about right?
You are not dead, or you would not be reading this. Yet, how alive are you?
It is so easy to settle in, follow the rules, pay your dues, and then wait for the end in the process of this thing called life—have you become numb? Or maybe you have not noticed. When you were young, you probably had dreams and visions, and maybe a few lofty goals. If you were like most, though, as you grew into adulthood you abandoned your dreams and lofty goals one by one. Did you do that? Or did circumstances dictate your path? Do you have a suspicion, even a tiny one, that you might have missed out on an original life?
Do people have a hard time “seeing” who you really are? Do you secretly feel as if no one knows the real you or gets who you are deep inside? Is that because you have not let them? Have you created and nourished a wonderful sense of your self? Or have you camouflaged yourself with habits, behaviors, compromises, possessions, money, or fear- or ego-driven behaviors? Do you sometimes feel that you do not really know who you are?
Following your death, you will have a tombstone or marker, on which will appear your name, a concise epitaph written by someone, and the date of your birth and death separated by a dash. The dash between your birth and death stands for your life. The dash stands for who you were and what others will remember you for. The dash symbolizes your entire life, the mark you left on people and this world, the meaning of your existence.
Life is not merely being alive, but being well
—Marcus Valerius Latin poet/author
If I were to ask you what your dash will stand for, what would you say? What significant event, purpose, effect, or deed would your lasting impression on the world represent? If you were on trial in a court of law and needed to justify your right to stay in your chosen country of residence by providing evidence of your good deeds and contributions, would you have enough evidence? Or would we find you lacking? What significance or purpose is there to your being on this earth?
You probably have a family and love the family that you love. But your family is not why you are here. Bearing children is the minimum requirement for ensuring the future existence of our species. It is not what keeps you from wondering if this is all there is, or if there is some deeper meaning to your life. Do you sometimes feel that you do not really know why you are here?
When you settled into your current job, relationship, home, marriage, routine, or lifestyle, did you gain weight? Over 60 percent of couples gain at least thirty pounds after settling into marriage and family life. Did you reason that your weight gain was from bearing children, the stress of work, the pressure of a mortgage, two car payments, dental bills, or a health condition?
Were you designed for a greater life, but are too busy to have one? Do you think greatness is only for the talented, the chosen, the lucky few? Do you sometimes wonder what if? What if I had gone to school instead of getting pregnant? What if I had married that girl? What if I had moved to that other state? What if I had started a business? What if I had traveled more before settling down? What if I had never had kids? What if I had stayed in school instead of dropping out?
If you were to introduce yourself to me for the first time, you would likely tell me your name, your age, your status in your family, the number of children you have and their ages and genders, the city you live in, something about your pets or hobbies, and what you do for a living.
News flash! None of these are who you are!
Each one of us must find his peace from within, and peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
—Mahatma Gandhi leader of the Indian Independence Movement
Identifying yourself with your age, what you do for a living, or with the members of your family is a response that comes from a lack of knowing your self. Until you know who and what you are, and why you are here, the dash on your gravestone will have no meaning beyond your job and your family status and sentiments. Your dash needs to stand for something.
So, who are you? Why are you here? Why now? Why this place? What benefit to humanity do you bring to the table and how will the world be a better place because you are in it?
Say out loud with me right now: “humanity.” Like the ripple effect of a stone skipping across a pond, it means the meaning of your life is designed to create multiple waves of momentum, radiating outward from your life and into our world making lasting change for the betterment of mankind. Unless you have no clue why you are here. Don’t feel bad, most people have no clue either.
In the world we live in today we place much emphasis on our station in life. What we have or possess. Where we live, what we drive, what we wear, who we associate with, where we go. The list goes on and on. It’s easy to think because we have not that we don’t matter. That our lives are insignificant. That we are wasted space. That we don’t count.
Some train you to believe that life is meant to be fair. They are wrong, it was never meant to be fair. Why would we have sickness and death? Why do we have floods? Famine? Earthquakes? If it were meant to be fair, we would have none of these. But we do.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
—Muhammad Ali World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion
When you first learned how to walk do you remember falling? Do you remember how many times you fell? Most likely not. What you do possibly remember was the feeling of standing strong with a newfound independence, a world opened to alternative possibilities. That was not the teaching moment. It was when you got back up. When you came close to something stable, leaned into it, and pulled yourself up. That was life teaching you how you were meant to look at it.
The teaching moment is in the moment of pulling yourself up, time and time again, until you get what you decided on, not because you deserved it, because you earned it. In life we deserve nothing. It does not promise us anything. Everything we receive is a gift and we need to look at it as such. When you start appreciating everything in your world, it becomes beautiful.
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
—Marianne Williamson author/ lecturer
Too many of you feel as if you are insignificant today. That you don’t matter. You have no voice that anyone listens to and possibly you don’t deserve one. Some of you shout, possibly out of frustration, demanding to be heard. Some of you just fade into the background and don’t get back up.
Some of you feel you are not being seen. That you are not being noticed in life. That it is passing you by. You go out of your way to attract attention to yourself, shouting to the world “Look at me!”.
Some of you don’t feel respected and demand it from the world around you yet the actions taken to gain respect are not respectful to others. I will naturally give respect when you are respectful.
Here’s the truth. You Matter, even if you don’t think so. You Matter ESPECIALY if you don’t think so.
Take a moment and look at any sunrise. Watch as the sun gently and faithfully rises each morning. Watch as colors slowly engulf the sky putting on a heavenly light show for you.
Watch as it sets below the horizon at night. Watch as it sets, and the moon rises. Notice the stars as they dance for you, just for you.
Notice the hummingbird as it hovers passing pollen from place to place so life may grow.
Listen to the wind as it gently brushes against your ears pushing the leaves from here to there.
Watch the power of the ocean as the waves crash into the shores forever keeping it in motion.
Know that the sunrise and sunset dictate the tides and seasons perfectly and with the sole purpose to sustain you.
Now know this. Your creator, whoever you worship, believe in, pray to, meditate to, give offering to, or hold deep in your heart would still have created this world even if you were the only person on this planet. That’s how valuable you are. The trees, the mountains, the oceans, the deserts, all of it. Just for you.
The lack of or approval of others, the lack of or acceptance of others, the lack of or respect of others, can never change that fact. When you feel alone, when you feel oppressed, when you do not feel valued, when you do not feel seen or heard, remember that fact. You Matter! You Matter to me. You Matter to us as a community. You Matter to the world. This world would not be the same without you. We need you, all of us, and we need each other, every moment of every day of every week of every month of every year.
Its when we forget that there is only one race, the Human Race, that we feel alone. When we forget that we are all in this together and you are not alone. You are NOT broken; you are NOT a mistake. We cannot do this without you. You are an intricate piece of the puzzle of life that we are all a part of and the puzzle is incomplete without you.
That’s why I say and believe; You Matter, even if you don’t think so.