It's a thing that you can't wish for; you have to find it, sometimes in unexpected places. Have you ever seen that moment in Grand Canyon, a Kevin Kline movie from 1991, when the young troubled teenager sees the Grand Canyon for the first time?
I didn't love the entire movie (though I might check it out again in case I missed the real meaning of the film), but one thing that struck me to the absolute core while watching it in the 90s was that moment, the Grand Canyon moment, that moment that slapped me with the grandeur of our planet, of our solar system, of our universe. That moment still gives me a major hit of perspective. All of those struggles of my life are, in fact, small things in the grand scheme of it all. And that, somehow, comforts me.
But there's more. Do you ever find yourself in a crowd of people and feel a part of a mob until, suddenly, some individual catches your eye. Then you realize you are a part of a group of humanity. That each of these people has an incredibly complex web of life, at least as complex as our own life. It's kind of a crazy thing, to realize that each person we meet or don't meet is living within a network of complications, relationships, past, present, future, finances, memories, likes and dislikes, conflicts, expectations, inadequacies, successes. And that's cool and also gives me perspective.
But there's more. It's how we are each a part of that complex network. How do we keep ourselves from feeling completely tiny and insignificant while knowing that we are a part of such a huge reality? It's a completely human struggle, to feel important, meaningful, significant while walking in that mob, while sitting at home, while moving through our days. Because, the thing is, it's not just a thing we want, it's a thing we need, to feel necessary, needed, respected. Like we matter. I honestly think I need to feel some sense of this each and every day.
Weirdly, I have an answer to this.
I have given this one quite a bit of thought in my life. It's a human thing, right? And I've figured out the single best way for myself to find ways to feel significant and that is to BE significant to others. This is a thing that I can do and do do every day. I tell people that they matter to me, why they are important, what I love about them. I touch people with my hands. I look at people in the eyes as I talk to them, when I tell them that I appreciate what they have done or who they are. It's that old adage the more you give the more you get,
Give it a try. Start today. Tell the people in your life that they are meaningful to you and why. Find a lovely pause in your day and do it. Make someone's day. Make your own day.
You will feel significant.
Because you are.
I hope my friend doesn't mind that I used her image.
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