Unless one is deprived of emotion, feeling or even ambition, it is question that’s frequently asked: do I matter? Another way of looking at it is to ponder, does it matter?
Does it matter that you matter? Most people live without giving it much thought; those who have given it some thought have either given up trying to figure it out or simply resigned themselves to, whatever.
Do you matter? Does it matter either way?
It should; anything else would reduce one to the lowest animalistic level. Unfortunately, a very large sector of the world population may have already resigned itself to such level. This is usually reflected in one’s behavior interacting with friends, neighbors or even with how one perceives himself in regards to societal norms and political issues. Although it’s overly simplistic to suggest that someone – who has the opportunity to – who doesn’t vote – because s/he reasons that his/vote does not count – is reduced to an animalistic level no much worth than a “brainless” animal.
What then does it mean to matter?
To matter often implies that someone is important in whatever the scenario may be; for instance, “we cannot begin the meeting without so and so” implies that so and so matters. While that could be true in the scenario, it’s not however the largest meaning of the expression. If we accept for a moment that the expression means so and so matters – without whom the meeting cannot begin – that would also imply the others do not matter or do not matter as much or not at all; in fact, the very premise that the meeting cannot take place would suggest that everyone else matters not.
So, is it up to one to matter? Or do others determine that one matters? What does it take to matter? To matter requires no special skill, gift, social status or even education. To matter – be it in the strictest or largest sense of the expression – depends almost entirely on one’s attitude and circumstance. Yes, society has always assigned status to individuals based on factors such as education, wealth, family lineage, etc… but society is not entrusted to determine whether one matters or not. This is not to be confused or compared with social status.
So, by which gauge do we measure who matters? We don’t. Each individual determines whether s/he matters. The danger of letting society dictate who matters is at the heart of most problems society has to grapple with. For instance we assign that poor homeless individuals don’t matter (or don’t matter much), so we walk over them, we spit on them, we curse them; best case scenario, they are invisible to us. Does that mean one matter more than the least fortunate? Of course not but one would like to think so. Ironically, both will suffer the same fate, death.
Now that you know your attitude determines whether you matter, so what? On the next Reflection, we will take a look at what it means to matter. In the meantime, if you’re still not sure whether you matter, drop us a line; we’ll shed more light into the topic.Follow @mducheiney