What does it mean to matter?
In our example in the earlier reflection, we suggest that one does not, not matter because someone else matters. In other words, for one to matter is completely independent or unrelated to whether someone else matters. In essence, everyone matters but some people choose to accept society premise that they do not matter.
Put differently, you matter unless you decide otherwise. Most unfortunately however, we’re all influenced by society norms, rules, standards and so on… We rarely question the status quo let alone challenge it. This behavior permeates deep in our lives, leaving us to accept, adopt or assign whatever label society dictates. It is no surprise we assign ourselves same or comparable labels society has assigned to us.
It’s easy to see it, it’s all around you. The mail clerk behaves as if s/he doesn’t matter much around people from whom he picks up and to whom he delivers mails but feels he matters much more in the presence of the janitor. The CEO which costs a company millions of dollars keeps his job (Netflix CEO Reed Hasting jacked up the subscription price in 2012) but the financial analyst who fails to catch an accounting error is placed on probation or terminated.
So, if one goes by society approach as to when and who matters, it boils down to simply social status, sphere of influence but most specifically the amount of wealth one has. For instance, if a financial analyst publishes an opinion about a stock, the stock may or may not be impacted but if Warren Buffet makes a remark, one can rest assured the stock would be impacted. If that’s the case and we all belong to a society of sort, shouldn’t we simply go along and continue to live by the norms, rules and standards? In other words, shouldn’t we simply accept the status society has assigned to us?
What good comes out of rejecting society’s approach? Does it matter if you think you matter but society doesn’t think so? Thus lies the dilemma of what it means to matter? Our own sense of worth is challenged every minute by society. Even the CEO who, on the surface, seems to matter more so than his employees, is challenged every step of the way by how society views him. IBM CEO not only feels matter more than a CEO of a small (or no-name) company but society also supports IBM CEO’s view.
It seems at best that the only logical behavior is to simply abide by society standards; don’t despair, you don’t have to, and there is plenty of good which comes with that. On the next Reflection, we’ll explore the pros & cons of rejecting society’s dictates as to whether one matters or not. . 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