Do I matter? This is one of the questions that never leave my mind. Do I have any significance in my family, neighborhood, workplace, country, the world? There are some people, or maybe many of us, who pass away living a mundane, ordinary life, which in the grand scheme of things has or seems to have a minor or no significance. And there are others whose contributions, positive and negative, transcend the boundaries of their workplace, social circles and their country.
I personally believe that there is no single person in this world who does not want to matter to other individuals. I believe that we all want a place in our own circle that gives us at least a tiny bit of importance, or significance. The question, “Who will be impacted by me not being around,” I believe comes to our minds at one point or another.
The feeling of insignificance is one of the worst feelings that an individual can feel. Who likes to feel insignificant, to not matter. I believe a person needs to have one of: having mattered in the past, to matter in the present, and a hope to matter in the future.
Have you ever had the chance to chat with elders? It may be our own parents and the one thing that is common in the chats is they all like to mention the contributions they once had during their younger days, as tiny as that contribution might be. Although I am not there yet, I believe old age brings with it the feeling of not being useful again, the feeling of not mattering anymore. So what remains are only old memories of achievements, contributions, of significance. I believe those memories are necessary to keep a person going at an old age.
There are people who were lucky enough to change the lives of others for the better, in a way that transcends generations. For me, a worthy life is a life given to others. A life lived meaningfully; means a life that touched others in a meaningful way, for the better.
All life matters, and I always ask myself, how much will it matter to my kids and husband if I die? Of course, they will cry and mourn but will they always remember me as someone who had a significant place or impact in their lives? I always ask myself, will it matter if I leave the organization that I am currently working in? Will I be a real loss to the organization if I leave, or will I just be one of many that can just be replaced? I always ask myself, who would know in my country when I pass away? Does the world care if I am gone?
I believe the most important thing is that we believe we matter instead of others believing that we matter. Sometimes, I still feel unimportant, insignificant even if I hear the opposite from others. Sometimes, convincing our own minds is more difficult than convincing others of the same.
I have learned that when you believe, others will believe you as well. Who would want to pay a high price for a product that the buyer has undermined himself? So the challenge is in our personal conviction that we indeed matter. I guess “the self” is where we should be working on!