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Do You Think That You Matter?

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Would the world be any different if you weren’t born? Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you have an important role to play in the grand scheme of things?

Most of us grow up in a world where life is dispensable, where our individual contributions go unrecognized, where there is no real sense that life – ours or anyone’s – is significant or meaningful.

At the root of this restlessness and discontent is the deep-deated conviction that “I Don’t Matter.” A belief that if I were to show up someplace or not, or make some kind of contribution or not, it would not fundamentally affect the world or the people that live in it.

Think about that for a minute. If you don’t feel like you make a difference in the world, how excited can you be about the things you do and the choices you make? When you wake up in the morning and you feel like what you do that day doesn’t matter anyway, how committed or passionate can you be?

But here is a message that will change your life forever: Birth is G-d’s way of saying “you matter.”

This means you are absolutely necessary. You are indispensable to G-d’s vision of the world, chosen to fulfill a mission in this world that you and only you can accomplish Like musical notes in the grand Divine composition, each of us has our unique music to play.

If you think this is a simple message, let me share with you a letter that I received from a woman who read my book Toward a Meaningful Life:

“I am a 47-year-old executive—very successful and accomplished; admired and respected. Yet beneath this fine veneer lies a woman in shreds. You see, my soul was murdered as a young child when my parents abused me physically, emotionally, sexually. Every day of my life is essentially a struggle against suicide. I feel no self value, actually no self at all. I am a sum of my parts, and my value is based on how others value me. I have tried many therapies but essentially have remained the same. Intimacy doesn’t work in my life, relationships are either unhealthy or nonexistent.

“In order to compensate for this deep void and lack, what I have done, as do people in this situation, I have become superambitious and hyperproductive in order to create some semblance of outer control in place of no inner control. It helps distract me somewhat and helps get me through the day, but it doesn’t really change anything. Inside I am a wreck, and every day, sometimes every moment, is another struggle.

“I had long given up hope and resigned myself to this life of misery. But then a miracle happened. Someone gave me the book Toward a Meaningful Life as a gift. I am Jewish but non-observant, and I was glancing through the book with a measure of skepticism until a line jumped out at me and struck me like a thunderbolt, like a silver bullet between the eyes:

“The line said: ‘BIRTH IS G-D SAYING THAT YOU MATTER.’ I read it again. ‘BIRTH IS G-D SAYING YOU MATTER.’ I read it over and over at least 500 times. And I will continue to read it every day of my entire life.

“I suddenly realized, after 47 years, that no matter what my parents told me, no matter how they said I was an accident and a source of misery in their lives, that no matter how society tells us that we are just a statistic in someone’s balance sheet, that our value is measured in buying power, productivity, looks, youth, contacts, and money—none of matters because I matter to the One who matters most. To G-d, who created me and said, ‘I want you on this Earth. I need you.

“The mere fact that I was born, that I exist, regardless of my mood, my performance level, my looks that day. The mere fact that I am here is a vote of confidence from G-d that I am indispensable, absolutely necessary, irreplaceable. No one can replace me. I matter. I truly matter.

“Do you know how that made me feel? That I have permission to matter. I am commanded to matter.

“So though I still have many years to heal, now, for the first time in my life, I have hope. And I know what I need to do. I need to create bypass surgery to bypass the infected arteries that my parents gave me when they touched me, criticized me, hit me, for the first time, and reconnect to that first, pure, innocent moment of birth, when G-d said YOU MATTER, you are indispensable.

“So thank you for giving me back my life.”

This letter left me in tears for some time. It is a letter that changed my life. I grew up in a relatively healthy home and was nurtured and made to feel valuable. But hearing the heart-wrenching story from a woman who did not have that luxury, I was challenged to ask myself: “Do I matter because my parents valued me and because of my achievements, or do I matter in a more permanent, cosmic way?”

I began to pose this question to audiences across the country – and I ask you, dear reader, the same: Do you think that you really matter? The knee-jerk response is usually : Of course I matter – I feel that I am important. My family, friends and work colleagues value me. But let me rephrase the question: Would it make a difference if you were never born? Remember, before you were born, it would not be a catastrophe if you did not appear; no one would miss you because no one was expecting you.

Of course, we can justify our existence once we are born. But does our existence have any merit beyond our justifications? The only absolute reason why you truly matter is because you were chosen by G-d to come to this world. The words “Birth is G-d saying you matter” are not my own. They are taken from the Torah,which states the single most important truth you will ever hear:

Yes, you matter, not because you think you are important, or because others tell you that you are, or because of your buying power, monetary value, looks, performance or productivity level. But because G-d put you here. You are an indispensable musical note. Irreplaceable. Period. The world would be different if you were not here or if you do not fulfill your calling. You have been allotted a certain section of this globe, with certain talents; people you will meet; experiences you will have; places you will go; objects you will obtain – all are allocated to you in order for you to transform them, to leave them differently from how you found them. And this change lives forever. Eternally.

When you know that you and your contribution are crucial, it infuses all that you do with a compelling sense of urgency.

I believe that this simple, clear message is preventive medicine for much of the tragedy and suffering that plague our world today-the shootings, the hatred, the suicides, the wars. We need to reach to every person, to every child, every parent, every educator, every leader, with the message: You matter. Your life and what you do with it matters. You are indispensable to G-d and to this world.

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31 Responses to “Do You Think That You Matter?”

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Rabbi,

    I have been reading your articles off and on for many years, now. I agree with almost all of them, many have touched me and some have affected me greatly.

    Mattering to the world, myself, Hashem; this is a subject I agonize with all the time. I could have written that letter from the woman, except for the fact that I suffered no (remembered) sexual abuse. I was subjected to the soul death she describes, for my whole life my mother scorned, screamed at and belittled me, told me I was a piece of #$@$ (poopy) and that I was so bad that she prayed she would die, which she did when I was 18. That was just my mother. My sister and school peers werent much better. I do not know how to trust and love only my son and my cats unreservedly.

    I finally found a brilliant therapist who has been helping me, a (second) wonderful therapist who helps me cope with the brilliant therapist, and a good friend who mentors me Jewishly.

    This line is all I have to convince myself that I matter to G-d. I heard it from Shimohah Tzukernik some months ago. By now I had forgotten the meaning. Thank you for bringing it back to me.

    It is true, there are many many more wounded, seriously wounded people out there than we can comprehend. Thank you for being here and writing and striving to make sure we never forget that someone loves us. I can assure you, that NO ONE is taking your place and doing what exactly WHAT you do in this world. Tizku lmitvot. I wish all brachot to you and your family.

    Thank you.

    June 25th, 2006 at 9:34 pm

  2. Marcia

    I am 31, mother of three ages 13,4,7mo. I suffer from depression.I was suposed to be married but never put our relationship first, he knew I was bad but ignored me any way. I failed at everything. I dont feel I have a place in this world. Hopeless, meaningless, invisable, hateful, angry, and incredably lonely. Not a friend in the world! I shut everyone out and build a wall around me. I have been abused and negected my whole life. How do I stop my very distructive behavior? I think about death every day!!! Anti-depressants not working…help!

    October 10th, 2007 at 11:36 am

  3. Or

    This was a nice article, but no, not helpful to me. What good is it that I matter to G-d when people around me treat me in a way which makes me feel hurt or invisible? Mattering to G-d is just a nice slogan. The fact that you speak about it is nice, but you are a lone voice in the wilderness. Most people only want to be friends with people who massage their egos.

    July 11th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

  4. Sharon Brisnehan

    I have this feeling sometimes and it is powerful. When it happens I tell myself that it is just a feeling and that it will pass because everything passes. Even the feeling that it wont pass, does indeed pass. I also look, as I am now looking here on this site, for someone elses testimony. I do so to reaffirm that I am not alone. What I feel is not mine alone. And that gives me the perspective of a shared experience. If I am sharing this feeling then I have changed it from an internal feeling to an outward action. Since logging on to this site and now posting, I am a part of it. And being a part of by definition makes me relevant.

    January 20th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  5. kel

    Of everything ive read….i still truly believe that I dont matter….if I died tomorrow no one will notice or wonder where I am or care that i was alive.

    May 1st, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  6. Taylor Hall

    Ive been questioning if I actually matter for a long while now. I do know that I matter- I had a near death experience four years ago when I was 14. I was in a bicycle accident on July 2nd at camp where I flew over my handle bars into a tree, fracturing my skull, five vertebrae, and causing a traumatic brain injury. I was unconscious when I fell into poison ivy, fracturing three ribs.
    I thank god every day that my younger sister, who was eleven at the time, reacted the way she did. She didnt know how injured I was, because I was concealed in bushes, but she knew something serious was wrong when I didnt respond to her. She went back to our campground to get help from my dad. I was taken to a nearby hospital, and it was determined that my injuries were too severe to treat there.
    I was then life lighted (flown by helicopter) to the Childrens hospital. The doctors and nurses there kept telling my parents that if I didnt wake up at two weeks, there was a higher possibility that I wouldnt make it. I pushed it, and was unconscious for exactly two weeks. I spent the following sixty-one days there, relearning how to do everything- walking, talking, writing, eating, and so much more.
    Before I woke up, I remember having a dream where I was walking down a beach with Jesus. We were talking about what had happened to me, and I asked Him if I was going to make it, if I would recover. Jesus merely placed his hands on my shoulders, and told me that it wasnt my time. And thats when I woke up. I remember relearning how to walk. I would fall, but I always felt someone picking me back up.
    My dad always tells me Im his hero, because I was so diligent and determined through all of that, and so much more since. I will be graduating in a few months. Ive been through a lot of smaller matters that make me question my meaning in the world, but I always reassure myself that God has some important plan for me- why else would I have survived that accident? This article has also reassured me that I really do matter.
    Thank you.

    January 10th, 2013 at 12:38 am

  7. Eileen

    Hi,reading the stories of so many unhappy people is touching. I too am on this site for having the same feelings.
    I have struggled with trust for the majority of my life, I come from a large family, where you were lucky if your name was even remembered.

    My father was emotional abusive, my mother did her best and I know she loved me, but our childhood was a constant round of sexual an emotional abuse. This destroyed my trust as I was seven when the sexual abuse started, we walked into a pedophile ring when we moved in with her relatives.
    The last ten years have reinforced my feelings, losing a sister to cancer, then the one person I knew that loved me unconditionally, my mum. My family were so disfunctional that I had to walk away, it destroyed me as I have always had siblings around me, but the youngest tore the family apart.
    I do have two beautiful married children, as they are busy all the time I am the one who always makes contact, otherwise the calls are few and far between, especially my son.
    I am an empty nester and my feelings deepened once they were gone and I was no longer needed. I recently started seeing someone, and I noticed the turmoil began when I started seeing him? I think I have surpressed my emotions for so many years that somehow they have surfaced since sharing our affection. I am still keeping my distance as I dont trust his motives, we are total opposites and I sense he knows how vulnerable I still am, so sex is a nono. I hope Im wrong as I would dearly love to matter to someone and I have liked him for two years. I agree we do have a purpose in the scheme of things and I think if we are patient and believe in ourselves it willl be revealed in time. Good luck to everyone on this site, you are not alone and I hope the outcome is a positive one for us all!
    Love Eileen

    March 9th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

  8. Chris

    I have no family other than some very distant cousins so every day I struggle with feelings of intense loneliness and the feeling that I dont really matter to anyone. Knowing I matter to God isnt really enough for me. I would love so much to matter to just one person.

    April 3rd, 2013 at 1:53 pm

  9. Vicky

    Nice article, but like many comments below, I dont feel I matter just because I was born. A lot of people are born and die in early childhood because they dont matter enough to their parents or the society (maybe medical costs to keep them alive arent justified but there are many other cases). Perhaps death is also meaningful if someone lived just for a few seconds on this Earth. But it doesnt prove an existence of a caring God who loves and values us.

    December 12th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

  10. Marcelo

    Nice text, but I dont think you really believe what youre saying, specially when the article ends with the words Click here to order your own copy of Toward a Meaningful Life.

    Like most people, youre just selling. Youre just saying the exact words you believe will lead to your desired outcome: for people to take the money out of their pockets and put it into yours.

    THAT is the problem right there: if my life matters so much, why are people only trying to get money from me? Why arent they trying to give me money instead? You can substitute any valuable thing in place of money if that word offends you – it doesnt change the fact that every single person on this planet only wants to take, never to give. At most, they surrender some value when they know for sure theyll be getting more in return.

    The exception to that is your parents, when youre lucky enough to not have been cursed with a dysfunctional family; if your family is at least half normal, then your parents will be happy to give you the resources you need for free until you can walk on your own two feet. But you can just easily have psychopaths for parents, which then defeats the whole purpose of your having been born. So no, birth cant be proof of your worth.

    March 10th, 2014 at 10:38 am

  11. myself

    I get what youre saying and its partially right. But my immediate lance through my heart is so my baby that didnt get a chance to be born doesnt matter? Thats unbearably cruel and I know not what youre saying but thats how it comes across

    September 16th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

  12. Kelton

    I just read this article…. And it pisses me off to say the least. I understand youre trying to better people with what youre saying. But what about the atheist in life? Or, like me, the people who are agnostic? What you say doesnt make sense to me. If I am in this earth for a reason, then when does this reason come into play? If god is there, then when does he finally prove it to me? I use to go to church with my family all the time as a child. And I use to pray. I even went to catholic schools for a few years. But out of all those experiences, I never had the one that would matter most. The one where god finally answers a prayer and proves himself to me. After the many years of never being heard, I lost interest in this god everyone talks about. Why should put faith into someone/something, if they wont even take the time to answer a prayer of wanting to better myself? Now to why your article actually pissed me off…. You say Ive been put here for a reason. Well what happens when Im put onto this world into the care of parents who dont care about me? The last 8 years of my life have been complete misery in my house because not only my parents, but my ENTIRE family (aunts, cousins, siblings, etc) treated me horribly. Treated me like an outcast. The last year has been the worst. You dont know what its like to have your parents tell you youre stupid. That you wont amount to anythig. That youre a loser. Did you have your parents kick you out at 17-18 because your stepdad fist fought you. And your mom took his side? I still live with my family unfortunately. Im 20 now. And Ive never wanted to be dead as bad as I do now. Where is god now? If Im here for a reason, why wouldnt he help me here? Why wouldnt he show me that all of this will be over shortly? Instead of hitting me with roadblocks every time I try to better myself? I cant get into college because I need money and cant get a job. And even if my family wasnt financially unstable, I wouldnt get help from my parents. I go to join the army, and somehow a hernia that Ive had my whole life is found. How did my past doctor who gave me my high school physicals miss that? Do you understand that just by saying god put you here for a reason doesnt make it all ok? It doesnt make all the bad stuff go away? It doesnt make people feel wanted? Especially the people who either dont believe in god or dont care. Personally… Youre gonna have to give me a better reason as to why I shouldnt feel like I shouldnt be alive. Another thing that got me was you had a question in the article that stated would you feel like life would be better if you werent born?. Well what if I told you… Yes. I do feel like not only my family, but the whole world would benefit from me being gone. Cuz according to everyone, Im just some asshole who only cares about himself and can never do anything to better himself or anyone else. Anyone who might be reading this may think Im some eom person or some loser whos never been good at anyhing. But the fact of the matter is… I was lucky to be given such good looks. Im an amazing athlete. And I personally feel like Im the second most kindest, whole hearted guy I know right now. And yet I sit here and feel like I dont matter. Like nobody would bat an eye if I died right now. Whether it was by my hand or someone elses. I feel like no one would go to my funeral. I mean maybe 5 people. But why, at 20 years old, given a certain amount of personal gifts, do I feel so resented. Feel so lost. And feel like theres no point in living? Never have since I can remember. No one should buy your book. What makes you think that you should write a book and try changing peoples lives when it seems like you never had a bad day in your life? What compelled you to write a book on wanting to be alive? Did a friend kill himself because of he didnt feel he should be alive? Thats not excuse enough honestly. Try going thru the heartache and troubles yourself before you try writing a book on wanting to be alive. Cuz not everyone is lucky enough to be happy with their life. Like you. Hope youre happy by making money off people who you can mislead…

    November 22nd, 2014 at 6:08 pm

  13. laura

    This story made me cry a lot because I really thought I didnt matter but now I know I do matter and no matter what others say, to myself I matter. This relly helped me understand that I do matter

    December 12th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

  14. Mr. Reality

    Rather than spending money to hear someones personal opinions as to why or if you matter, only you, by choice can decide you matter.

    January 17th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

  15. No One of Consequence

    And what about the people who believe that human beings only came up with the concept of god to explain the things they didnt understand? 3,000 years ago knowledge and the scientific method were non existent or their infancy. People who needed an explanation for how things worked were willing to acceptgods will. Theres really no place for it in the modern world because evolution, and the laws of physics make so much more sense than POOF! and the first chicken suddenly appears out of thin air! So is this answer only for people willing to believe in YOUR god or can you actually help the people who learned from their parents that they didnt matter? You know, the kids who werent loved but approved of when they were silent, invisible, and not a burden. The kids whose parents taught them to feel guilty for breathing the air that more deserving people needed. What does your book have for them?

    March 16th, 2015 at 10:25 pm

  16. coolbreeze

    keltin…Im in the same boat as you. I understand as you….I have been in therapy SEEMS LIKE FOREVER.

    April 3rd, 2015 at 12:14 am

  17. noemi vieyra

    Im 14 and I honestly think life would be better without me. My mom always takes her anger out towards me and when my sister starts an argument I get yelled at. I have thought about suicide at least 5 times.My dad is on prison and my mom constantly telling me that I was mistake. 🙁

    May 15th, 2015 at 5:53 pm

  18. Hannah

    I just wanted to say thank you. I really needed that boost. I am not religious and have not been to church in a very long time. But those words really touched me. I dont know why. Its just nice to know that in someones eyes I will always matter. Even though I will always struggle with my depression and my issues I feel that these words will help me live everyday. Thank you for posting this.

    May 31st, 2015 at 9:56 pm

  19. I dont matter, nothing would change with or without me. No one would notice if I was gone. No one would care. Its a nice thought, but I dont matter.

    July 31st, 2015 at 11:23 pm

  20. Tysns_turn_2keep_itreal

    Attention anyone out there you has left a negative comment about this article. You dont have to believe in God or Someone or something greater than yourself if you dont want to. The point of this article was to breathe a little hope into the readers out there that feel unwanted or unrecognized. If this article changes at least one persons outlook on life for the better, the article did something great. If you feel you dont matter and it bothers you then stop bitching about not making a difference and do something that matters. Theres nothing more detrimental to a person than lack of self worth and confidence. Everyone reading this comment has a story to tell. Some of us have had hardships throughout our lives that make it hard to feel like we matter. Some of us have seen or experienced things that make it hard to believe there is a god. Some of us have had it better than the others. Thats just life. Not everyone is created equal and given the same exact same opportunities. If everyone had the same story, how boring would that be? Its not about the hand you were dealt, its about how you play it. So you had shitty parents growing up, become a loving and caring parent. Dont let your past dictate your future. Fight back against the events that hold you down. You only truly lose if you quit trying to change yourself or your environment. Stop seeking acceptance from others and start accepting yourself and your actions. The truth is you matter. Youre alive and capable of making a difference, be it negative or positive. Therefore your existence matters. Would the world keep turning had you not been born? Of course it would. Your goal should be ensuring the world wont be the same when youre gone. Stop pouting about what you dont have and embrace and glorify what you do have. Appreciate your life and life will appreciate you. Thats all I have on this subject.

    August 3rd, 2015 at 7:50 am

  21. pointless

    I sit here day after day, week by week, even month by month and just ask myself one simple question: why do I hate myself. Today on October Second 2015, I finally figured it out. I hate myself because Im alone in this world. I came in by myself and I will leave everything by myself. There is no such thing as soulmates or a true love, every person you meet in your life is disposable in your life, even yourself. We use other people to make ourselves better and try to forget that we are truly alone, yes there are families but down to the core it’s just a group of people who share a last name and blood type. The bond you make with anyone can be broken within seconds, they are pointless. The only way you survive in this world is by building your walls to be as strong as you can and watching out for yourself because no one cares about you but yourself. Yeah you can say that your family would give up their lives for you, but Ill tell you right now that it is false. It will never happen, everyone can be replaced. Take the President of the United States for example, the leader of the free world, if he would be assassinated today the United States would be thrown in chaos but a week or two later there would be a new president and the old president will be six feet underground rotting away with the worms. Even the most important person in the United States is replaceable. The pope is replaceable. What makes you so important? Let me tell you, nothing. You are not important at all. No matter what you do with your pathetic life you will always end in the same spot: six feet underground, where maybe if you’re lucky a person will visit you and say a few kind words, but they will move on and forget just like the rest of the world. God is supposed to protect us from evil, he is supposedly our creator, yet he lets millions of people die, he lets us die alone. He does not give a single damn about you, me, or any other person in this world. God is dead. Was he ever alive? God let people who were good die, they were killed and forgotten, who will remember a person God won’t even save? The answer is no one. No one cares, not a single damn is given about you. Before you draw your last breath I hope you see what I see and realize that your life was cursed from the start.
    -It doesn’t matter

    October 2nd, 2015 at 10:40 pm

  22. Jay

    Thanks for the kind words, you uplifted my soul!

    December 19th, 2015 at 1:37 pm

  23. Bubs

    I think that you comments exclude the non-believer and also gloss over the journey you may have made to arrive at comment to begin with. We are not important because we are born. We derive our sense of self worth in relation to everyone around us. That’ is why it cripples us when we are treated as if we don’t matter. Some of us will never matter to the other people that attach themselves to us. Developing that sense of self-worth in the face of a whole of theatre of people who tell you the opposite is the real struggle. And yet it is the struggle that produces that sense of self-worth. For believers there is a place for god in the realisation – hey I survived, I overcame, Im worthwhile, I matter, but for many others —we have to find another way to express it.

    January 1st, 2016 at 10:42 pm

  24. Alone Again ... Naturally

    I’d like to share with you, my theme song (thanks to Gilbert O’Sullivan). Could have been written with me in mind:

    In a little while from now
    If I’m not feeling any less sour
    I promise myself to treat myself
    And visit a nearby tower
    And climbing to the top
    Will throw myself off
    In an effort to
    Make it clear to whoever
    What it’s like
    When you’re shattered
    Left standing in the lurch at a church
    Were people are saying, My God, that’s tough
    She stood him up
    No point in us remaining
    We may as well go home
    As I did on my own
    Alone again, naturally

    To think that only yesterday
    I was cheerful, bright and gay
    Looking forward to who wouldn’t do
    The role I was about to play
    But as if to knock me down
    Reality came around
    And without so much as a mere touch
    Cut me into little pieces
    Leaving me to doubt
    Talk about, God in His mercy
    Oh, if he really does exist
    Why did he desert me
    In my hour of need
    I truly am indeed
    Alone again, naturally

    It seems to me that
    there are more hearts
    Broken in the world
    that can’t be mended
    Left unattended
    What do we do
    What do we do
    Alone again, naturally

    Looking back over the years
    And whatever else that appears
    I remember I cried when my father died
    Never wishing to hide the tears
    And at sixty-five years old
    My mother, God rest her soul
    Couldn’t understand why the only man
    She had ever loved had been taken
    Leaving her to start
    With a heart so badly broken
    Despite encouragement from me
    No words were ever spoken
    And when she passed away
    I cried and cried all day
    Alone again, naturally
    Alone again, naturally

    There are so many people in the this overpopulated world that there is no possible way that we can all matter; I would venture to say that a huge percentage of us don’t. I mattered to my parents when they were alive, but after they died I know for a fact that, except for my dear little cat who makes my life worthwhile, no one else gives a tinker’s cuss about whether I live or die, myself included. I know that if I’m lucky my brother and sister may attend my funeral, but I wouldn’t count on anyone else, and fully expect that I will depart this world unlamented and soon forgotten. So my life matters? I can’t think of one reason why it does, and sincerely hope that I don’t live too long. I’m boring myself to death.

    February 8th, 2016 at 12:29 am

  25. Lisa Barnaby

    In the big picture I definitely feel worthless, that my life doesn’t matter because there have been millions of people before me. Yet, I am not sure but think my life matters because my main goal in life is to make life better for other people if only with a smile, a kind word, a favor etc. I am pretty sure that I would not be here if there wasn’t a reason for it.

    March 22nd, 2016 at 2:04 pm

  26. An optimist

    It really is up to me how much I matter. I do not need to be loved deeply by anyone forever. I do not need anyone to miss me to convince me how much I matter. The truth is we do not know, or we forget, who loves us or who misses us. Sometimes we take those people for granted.

    I am the one who decides when and how I matter. I do not need anyone’s approval to do so. Through out my life I have mattered in many ways even as a child. I have looked after many children making sure they were safe, including my brothers. I was there when my brother would had drowned but I saved him. I have comforted others in their despair and listened many more people when they wanted to talk. I have taught life skills to others by becoming a teacher. I have inspired and aided lots of others, when I had an opportunity to do so. If it was my job, and I got paid for it, what I did still mattered.

    I promote organic farming and look after the environment. I plant trees that might well be here for many years after my death. I use services that others offer. I take part in activities in community. I learn more so I can matter more.

    I am one of many, who act positively and productively in our society. Together we matter even more. Together we build. Each one of us is just as important as we want to be. Touching other people’s lives positively, how ever briefly, matters. Each and every one of us can be an angel, and I am sure you all have been at times. And that is enough: at times when it matters! It does not take much planning or energy. Just be yourself and help when you feel you are able to so. How your past is, does not mean anything to anyone – everyone has struggled with something. How much or little money you have, also means nothing, unless you make it matter.

    Be kind to yourself and do not do “good work” to impress others, out of duty or guilt. Do it because you are free to do so. Because you choose to. Make yourself matter and for that, strangers, animals, environment… they are just as important as family and friends. You might not appreciate your own value to others at times – because often people do not show gratefulness – still that does not make your contribution any less important. It is not about the thanks we get, it’s about you acknowledging that you did well. Yes, someone else could had done the same, but they did not: you did.

    Comparing your life to others’ is useless. We all have different interest, different abilities, different opportunities. We like and want different things. That’s how life works. You cannot matter to everyone; nobody does. That is so that you can choose to whom and when you matter. Life is for living and how you live, matters.

    April 26th, 2016 at 7:44 pm

  27. Blanche Musilli

    I have been very depressed and I really wish I would die, because only then would I have peace. After reading all these comments I really feel like I have been an inspiration for many people. Even tho I’m always sad. I make people laugh. God puts words in my mouth that make them happy. I never pass a baby without telling them how beautiful and precious they are. Many people pay me compliments it makes me feel good. As long as you can smile and say a kind word you are doing Gods work. Keep smiling & God bless you.

    May 4th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  28. E

    What is G-d ??????? Does it stand for GOD ???? If so, then spell it out.

    June 18th, 2016 at 8:16 am

  29. Sumit

    I stopped reading the second GOD word came

    July 29th, 2016 at 1:19 pm

  30. Your Friend

    I suffer from OCD & depression, suicide has always been an option for me; but I do not use this as an excuse not to live. I use it as an excuse TO live. We all have a past; good or bad. We can focus on the good or bad… however, the more we focus on the bad the less we will accomplish to make things better. I have always been told to worry about today, because the past is over and the future is ahead of us. However, when I plan for the future I seem to accomplish more today to prepare for tomorrow. I do not focus on being alone; I focus on the people who surround me – whether they are friendly to me or not. I know I did my part when I smile and say hello to them; and this makes me less alone. I do not have many friends but what I do have is a few VERY GOOD friends. They have been on my roller coaster of life. You are not alone. God gives us a decision to believe in Him. He could have made us without a choice and even though it would be easier not to feel, want, or need we get to see the beauty that surrounds all of us. You just have to look for it. Look closely, there is at least one thing in your life that you might like – you might even like being angry, negative, or being alone. I on the other hand, when I lose perspective of life I look at the leaves on the trees and know that scientifically the leaves turn different colors, but in my imagination there are small people painting each leaf and it is my God who put them there.

    August 5th, 2016 at 2:35 pm

  31. Undesireable

    I believe the question to ask is not whether or not the world would be different had you not been born or fulfilled your mission in life. Instead, the question to ask yourself to determine whether or not you matter is Would the world be better off if you had never been born. It doesn’t matter what other people think or what they say about you. The feeling of not mattering comes from a self assessment/determination that you have come up short in every expectation of what you thought your life would be and how it has turned out. Another question to ask is: If I were to die today, would the world be worse off.

    For some people, there contribution is being a parent and or Spouse/Mate. For others it is being a good friend who is there when someone is in need in one way or another. Others contribution is the work they do and the way if impacts peoples lives (i.e. Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Counselor, Minister or Charity/Social Worker etc.). While others it is their Philanthropic endeavors. Anther way to matter is to be a good role model in one way or another.

    If you feel that you are none of the above, then you feel that you don’t matter. Even though others may say positive things to and about you, if you feel good about yourself, it is impossible to believe it. If they only knew the real you, the person you are inside (Where all the negative things live). The things you don’t let other people see. The things that you mask (Thoughts, Feelings, Desires and Motives). It’s not that they are lying. You think to yourself, are they just saying that to be nice, or that they feel they have to say it to make you feel good/better.

    If you have never been married, have not children, or friends, have never dated or been in an intimate relationship and are middle aged, have a job that you should have had at the beginning of your career 30 years ago, still live in your parents home. Then I think it is safe to say that you are a loser and don’t matter in any way shape or form.

    August 8th, 2016 at 7:53 pm

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