The Real Truth about YOU
by Wendy Keller, mother, author, survivor
In times of depression or heart-wrenching suffering, you may wonder if you matter to the world.
You might even think your life is unimportant in the Grand Scheme of Things.
Today, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. You are a unique individual and you are important in ways you cannot even imagine.
Naturally, your family and friends care about you. Your disappearance from human life would shock, sadden and unsettle them. (Think about the last funeral you attended…)
But even more than that, you matter in other ways. It might seem small or trite, or that you are interchangeable with others with your skillset, but you matter to your co-workers and the customers/clients/patients you serve in your work. Your kind attitude, your professionalism, your thoughtfulness might be just the thing someone else needs to help them get through a terrible moment in their life.
What about that driver you let go ahead of you today? Who knows how much stress that person is under, and your kindness helped them just that much. What about the cashier with whom you exchanged a pleasant word today? You don’t know what that person is facing. Your patience and compassion with others may have been precisely what they needed to get through a difficult struggle – even if you will never know your contribution.
You are important in other ways, too. You may be raising children, caring for aging parents, or volunteering to help. You may be paying your taxes and thus helping your neighbors have clean drinking water and paved roads. Perhaps the work you do provides something that makes someone else’s life better. Don’t discredit that stuff!
We forget that we are individually responsible for the good of the whole. Just like a bee in a hive, you are part of a greater system. You may not be the Queen Bee, but she wouldn’t survive without all those worker bees doing their thing. You might feel ignored, invisible and useless – but just for today, observe how many other people’s lives you interact with in some way today. Even if you are a shut-in, you’re paying your electric bill and your rent and thus putting food on other people’s tables. You can choose to make those interactions pleasant for everyone.
Society works because of the small contributions of all of us. Your immediate circle – the people you interact with regularly at work or at the store or in your family – is affected by how you show up and that you show up. Complete strangers that you deal with for only seconds in your entire life could be uplifted or encouraged by their encounter with you in ways that have a ripple affect.
Perhaps, if you’re really depressed, you’re saying, “Yeah, but I could be replaced by someone else at any moment.” You think so? How old are? How long did it take to grow a you? How many unique life experiences did you have so far that created the individual you have become? Whose lives have you positively affected along the path of yours? And how differently would those lives have gone if you hadn’t been there at just the right moment?
You matter in the world. Uniquely, individually, specifically you.
Take care of you today. We need you.