(3 Minute Read)
Am I important? Do I matter? Will anyone notice when I am gone? Why am I even here?
The concepts of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence and so on continue their decades long rise to premiere importance in our culture at every level. Everyone wants their children to grow up with high self-worth. People want to feel good about themselves. Yet, we don’t.
A quick Google search on “Self Worth” will turn up a barrage of information. Articles on how to measure self-worth and to how not to appear. You can also read why girls have less, why boys struggle, and how anyone can get more self worth. Indeed it appears as though everyone wants more and they are willing to pay for it. Americans spend millions in a market area geared toward improving self.
Some articles go so far as to say the words, “Statistics show…” then spew numbers as high as 95% of American’s struggle with self-worth. Of course they never cite a statistical study with actual data. Yet, we have to look no further than our bathroom mirrors to know these figures are closer to home than we would like to admit. So what’s up with our self-worth problems?
Yes, part of the problem subsists in the criteria by which we measure our self-worth. Yes, part of the problem lies in our past experiences. Yes, part of the problem rests in the fabric of our culture and social norms. There are countless articles you can read on these topics. This is different.
Sitting in my chair one evening, feeling especially worthless at the time, I pondered the answers to those exact questions above. Coming up void of any satisfactory answers I heard the alert sound for a text on my phone. Being occupied with nothing more than self-absorbance I took a look to see what it was. This photo showed up with a note attached reading something like, “Cleaning out mom’s house and came across this. The Big Red Apple! Memories.” It was from a good friend of mine from grade school.
My frown turned upward to a smile and then a giggle, like a grade school little girl. For you see, the Big Red Apple wasn’t any ‘ole car. It was the car her mom drove when we were young. They lived four doors down the street and our moms would rotate taking us to school. When it was her turn I would wait at the door; patient yet eager for that big red car to peek from the corner of their garage and putter up the hill to my house. When I jumped inside, Mama Faye, as I called her, always seemed to be smiling. We would giggle all the way to school. In fact, I giggled so much when I was with my friend at Mama Faye’s house we still laugh about the first time I spent the night. As Faye tells it, “We were lying in bed listening to you giggling late at night. Lawrence said, “Either me or her are going to the shed, cause I can’t sleep with that going on.””
I don’t know what happened to the Big Red Apple. It wasn’t the car that mattered. In fact I thought it was a four door. Mama Faye is now in an assisted living home struggling at times with her mind. To my knowledge she never did anything people would find worthy of fame or grandiose in any way. No accolades or trophies here. Most would say Mama Faye is an ordinary lady. They would be right, almost.
In a world where so many seek to tear us down; a world where we return the favor and tear down others in turn, Mama Faye matters. She made a difference in this world, oh yes she did. In a way most of us fail. She brought a smile to my face every time I saw her. She still does in fact; I giggle, she snorts. It’s the difference that makes the difference. It is what matters. She will be missed, guaranteed.
“Do not despise little things: a lantern can do what the sun can never do – shine at night.” –Unknown
Maybe we shouldn’t be so concerned with doing big things in life. If we are honest, most all of us are ordinary. Get the simple little things right; smile, be positive, encourage others, and we may find “I matter“, more than we ever thought possible. Simple actions leading to a rich life indeed. We might find ourselves shining when night falls all around us.
Share some little thing you have done in the comments and give everyone some ideas on what they can do for others so they too can say, “I matter.” You might even want to share this article and start an “I matter” movement.
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