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.”

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.

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.

A Spiritual Road Map for Living

Toward a Meaningful Life

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16 years ago

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!

14 years ago

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.

Sharon Brisnehan
12 years ago

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.

12 years ago

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.

Taylor Hall
11 years ago

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.

11 years ago

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

11 years ago

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.

10 years ago

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.

10 years ago

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.

9 years ago

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

9 years ago

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…

9 years ago

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

Mr. Reality
9 years ago

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

9 years ago

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

No One of Consequence
9 years ago

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?

noemi vieyra
9 years ago

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. 🙁

9 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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

8 years ago

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.

Alone Again ... Naturally
8 years ago

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.

Lisa Barnaby
8 years ago

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.

An optimist
8 years ago

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.

Blanche Musilli
8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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

7 years ago

I stopped reading the second GOD word came

Your Friend
7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

Unfortunately, the article assumes God; whatever you think that is, exists. There is no way of proving that such a thing exists, faith is NOT enough. I drift through each day of my pointless, meaningless ,futile and painful life wondering what I`m doing here and why. This article provides no answer.

Frane Selak
7 years ago

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7 years ago

At first, I thought I don’t matter on this earth because i don’t have anyone who sees me as important. Thus, when people are going – am sitting, when they are talking, I don’t talk. But as I read this article, I know that “Birth alone, is God’s way of saying” I matter on this earth. And also we don’t need people to tell us how much we matter on this earth. Don’t think of what others will say about you………..But I wish to get more articles just to boost my knowledge on how I matter on this earth.

7 years ago

Rabbi, I will very respectfully disagree with you. The mere act of my birth is not enough for me to matter in this world. My voice does not matter. My existence does not matter. This has been proven over and over and over to me by the world around me. There is not a role in my life where I am cannot be easily replaced or where my absence would make no difference in the ‘verse.

I am not that person who matters. I am only a cog in a machine that’s easily replaced.

7 years ago

I struggle every day with that question, among others… “Do I really matter?” “Have I ever mattered?” “Maybe I’ve messed up so many times, G-d is through with me.” Maybe it’s just self-pity. I don’t know anymore. It seems all I do is mess up everyone’s life. I don’t have any friends. My wife despises me. My kids love me, so they say, and I guess they do. I don’t have many extended family member alive – the ones that are are too removed from my life that they couldn’t help much if I needed them – they live too far away and we don’t talk much. My marriage made sure of that. I have tried to make myself available all the time for opportunities to make a difference. I tried to hid His Word in my heart and follow it. To be a living example of Grace on earth. Now that I am coming into the Fall of life, with Winter soon upon me, time is running out. Have I wasted this life I have been given? What possible good am I? How could I possibly be of any use. I don’t know why I’m even posting any of this Rabbi – I am a deluded, no-hope believer that Messiah has come – Jesus. To the devout Jew, I suppose I’m not worth the trouble, right? But I worship the very same G-d that you worship. That has to be worth something. I feel like Job in a way. I do wish He would strike me down before I would ever think about cursing His name. He has to be listening, right? He has to care somehow – or does He?

Dark Matter
6 years ago

I am dark matter. I am soulless material. Maybe I was something once but if I was it’s destroyed forever. I walk empty with my child still beside me. I do things I used to do that I was passionate about and it’s all labor now. I’m suicide and I’m murder, and we all share the same nightmare in our collective waking hours. And I don’t sleep at night because I don’t dream. This life makes no sense unless we derive a sense of meaning. If you don’t, you’ll walk around empty and already dead like me. Every good thing from my heart is ignored and every rotten thing I’ve done is remembered and mentioned. Who cares if people change their ways anyway? Your past failures are needed for someone else’s hypocritical finger pointing, to project from their present denial of their own inner torture. The farther you make it in this life, the bigger the army of demons that comes to destroy you. If it happens that there is no God and no afterlife, what’s the point in loving or accomplishing anything? God would have been created by us out of all these fears, anyway. You want to choose to believe something out of fear? If all sinners and saints, princes and peasants are erased at death, what does anything we love or accoplish in the now mean? Nothing. I can’t wait to finally end this utterly meaningless life.

6 years ago

This article really made me feel better and have tears…I thought that no one would know I feel like and now I know that I am not alone thank you so much

6 years ago

This was just as useless as the rest of the articles Ive read on why I matter. God, Im sorry, ahem, “god” is no reason for me to matter, he didnt make me, if he did, I can assure you that he made a mistake. “The meaningful life center”, ha, you guys know about as much as the toiler paper I use to wipe my ass does. There is no god. If there is, then Hes a SHITTY one. I live with a family that doesn’t give a fuck enough to notice the cuts on wrists that i put there because of the stress that I am put through everyday having to help raise my two younger siblings. I have no friends really, for they would actually try to help me instead of giving me that look of ” Im supposed to care and Im gonna try to act like it but I dont really give a shit”. I live in ghetto with a butch of sex offenders. My beat friend killed himself a while back( not to mention he. . .well. . .did that thing to me that grown folks do in bed, not with consent ) Im about to lose my home and my mind. My dads in jail. My biological dad is dead. I sleep on the mattress that is covered in my great- grandmothers blood from when she blew her brains out. I just cant catch a break. Thanks “god” for the SHITTY life. I could go into detail about how painfully miserable it is, but you get the point.

not important
6 years ago

I don’t know or care how old this is just need to make a comment if there is a God i don’t know … no one actually knows until they die. I am only 100% sure of one thing if there is a God for some reason he hates me. That is a FACT. I have been wanting to die since i was a little girl I used to pathetically attempt suicide as a child and a young adult.. I don’t know what is on the other side and what if something is there? What if reincarnation is real and i have to suffer another worthless life. I am a loser i have never had a real friend people think i am weird and annoying. I am pretty sure i am a social reject positive in fact as the treatment i get in life is proof. I have tried to be a good person but apparently i suck so there it is and to be told you were not wanted by your parents is a really shitty way to start your life and then to be a reject of society when you have never done anything cruel or horrible yet you see others who treat you like complete shit have a lot of friends and be accepted when you have seen their true colors makes me think if there is a GOD he has a really fucked up sense of humor and i am his punching bag.

6 years ago

I use to hate my life and at the same time, I feel so guilty cuz I’ve got the most amazing kid on earth and on the other hand I was like, I’m stuck in a marriage where I feel like I’m nothing to my husband..and my husband, doesn’t care about me and my kid and also I sometimes feel like my daddy loves my husband more than me cuz he watches what my husband do to us and yet still tells me that is life and I should be patient and be a wife and sometimes he even thinks that I’m lying if I told him some how my husband is mistreating but yeah he don’t care about me even though when he promised if I accept the arranged marriage he arranged he’ll always be on my side. And by that time, I regret for trusting anyone in my life cuz if my own dad can lie to me and not care about me then what makes me think that I’m worthy of my husband’s attention or his love. I felt I was stuck in a life where I only have one good thing in my life which is my son and my fear that someday he’ll be taken away from me. I can’t remember the last time that i felt loved from anyone other than my one year old son and maa osa sunlight. I really thank maa osa sunlight” for being there for me to wipe away my predicaments that nobody knows about. I don’t even have relation who stood by me Only jai mata sunlight, who became a mother, and a friend. Indeed she sees the pains and sorrows I was going through in marriage that my own dad never care or border to know about. She is indeed a true mother of love and understanding thanks to you great mother of ezioguru. Who help me restore back the dead love and happiness in my life and my marriage. Readers, do you have any troubles that you need help and you’ve given up for?? Don’t give up. Pls copy and via ( to get help and the solutions to your problems. And pls when you contact, be specific with your request so you don’t offend her highness okay?? Thanks to you mother sunlight priestess of ezioguru temple.

6 years ago

Don’t do it for do it because you want to have a long life It’s up to you and you never know when your time in this world is up

6 years ago

I think you’re all missing the point.
You were born because God thinks you mattered. What you do with your life after that is what you matter to yourself and maybe if you have something to give back, what you give back to God.
One is never lost or alone unless you choose to be.
I hear a lot of pity parties going on. Sorry, those kind of parties I don’t attend.

Not Saying
6 years ago

If I don’t matter, I guess it’s because of the role I was assigned when I was born: Scapegoat. People can say and do whatever they want to me and get away with it – when I’m bullied, nothing is done, even if someone, such as a teacher, witnessed it! I have been pushed down the stairs and had my foot broken and the person that did it said “Go fucking die you retard!” and a teacher saw this but did the bully get punished? No, because he bumped into me apparently! They ignored the fact that he SHOUTED “Go fucking die you retard!”

If I say or do anything, I’m in trouble, even if it’s to tell someone to shut up. If someone says something rude to me and I tell them to shut up, I’m in trouble and the person that was rude to me didn’t do anything wrong even if the teacher heard them!

I have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the experiences I have had throughout my life because of this – the fact that people could do and say whatever they want to me (such as assault me) and get away with it is enough for me to conclude that I don’t matter. I came to this conclusion a long time ago, when I was in school I came to this conclusion. I think it’s partly because I was given the job of Scapegoat. If I had been told this was why people could do and say what they wanted to me and get away with it yet if I defended myself at all or someone lied and said I did something when I didn’t do anything I would still hate the role but I would understand that is why people can do and say whatever they want to me – because it’s my job to put up with being treated like shit and nothing will be done, just like a janitor has to clean up other people’s messes, such as when someone pukes. I’m certain the janitor doesn’t like cleaning up someone’s puke but they realize they must because it’s part of their job as janitor, just like being treated like dirt is part of my job as Scapegoat, since Scapegoats don’t matter – we’re considered less than everyone else.

6 years ago

Look, I learned a long time ago nothing I did would matter. No matter how hard I tried to fix myself, my mistakes, something worse would have after I thought everything was fine. The only reason why I’m still here today is that I realized that I had some importance, however small, it did matter. I saved a friend of mine while he was going through a severe state of depression. I know what I’m about to say might not sound plausible, but hear me out. He was contemplating suicide, and couldn’t find a way to become joyful. So, I helped him get a girlfriend, and he started acting perkier. He stated acting happier, telling me how the relationship was going. At that time, I felt like I had no purpose (which I still do) and did nothing useful. In hindsight, I now realize how much I helped because God helped me to believe I was worth something. Every day I plow through life, expecting the worst to happen. I feel like my family and friends don’t give enough support, but that doesn’t mean that I should give up, does it? I don’t care what you do. When you wake up tomorrow morning I want you to give it one more day, just one more day. And then the next morning do the same thing. Even if it’s a thousand more of those mornings, keep plowing forward. I know it’s tough and I know it’s difficult, but just keep moving, even if you don’t feel a purpose, you have one. Just keep fighting, even if that means you get knocked out a few times in the process. Just get back up again. Like you have been, and like you will be doing.

6 years ago

I honestly feel sometimes I don’t matter all that much. I don’t have close friends I can talk to and joke with or share my feelings or share anything. In the last year, the loneliness I felt was just hard to take. I honestly feel like no one seems to be on my side by God alone.

6 years ago

Thank You Rabbi Jacobson.
I enjoy your writings as well as your YouTube videos. I am not Jewish although I have Jewish Grandparents. I met G-d through Sunday school at a fundamentalist Christian Church as a child. I always felt his presence and even learned from the stories of Jesus. I could never reconcile myself to the teachings of Saul/Paul and felt there was something not quite right in the New Testament. I am so glad that I discovered my Jewish ancestors it caused me to read everything I could about Judaism and to go to our local Chabad that is ran by one of your cousins another Rabbi Jacobson.

To the people that feel they don’t matter please give yourselves some chances. Do something every day to make your environment better. Even if it is just throwing a piece of paper away. Speak to the cashier at Walmart or your local gas station. Plant a flower. Do any little thing that makes you feel good and can be shared. It has been 30 years since I worked in a grocery store but I remember the people who spoke kindly to me even though I moved and never saw them again. They mattered to me and they didn’t even know it.


6 years ago

Never understood why I was put on this earth. Come from a very broken home. Parents divorced after ten years of marriage leaving my mentally unbalanced mother to raise three girls. She tried to kill us but never succeeded. I have a scar from a knife she used to try and hurt me. ( Why was she created? Why does she matter)? I don’t have the answer to that. G-d must know. G-d seems to want me to suffer every minute of the day. I’m older than old but still feel the hair being pulled out of my head. Still smell the ammonia and clorax mixture in front of my nose. Still remember having to sleep outside because she wouldn’t unlike the door. Still feel the lamp thrown across the room to hit me on the head. Still remember my wrist feeling the gas flame burning my skin? Still remember cheating people out of money. Still remember lying to get out of trouble. Still remember a lot more of her abuse. Day after day. Sometimes minute by minute. Why do I matter? All I was to her was a burden. Someone who occupied her space and got beaten with a plastic jump rope that left bright red marks. Why didn’t DCFS take us away from her? I don’t know. Maybe it would have been worse. How much he worse could things get? I don’t have answers for any of these questions. But I do know that Rabbi Simon Jacobson has taught me that I matter because G-d said so. I was born Into this world like the beautiful first snowfall. What happened to me isn’t who I am. It’s what I became. I am still that beautiful first snowfall and always will be. I just have to navigate back to that beautiful scene and be an example of what NOT TO DO AND HOW NOT TO HURT THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE. THAT is my mission AND I DO MATTER. If my eyes open up in the morning (which I wish they didn’t sometimes) then I matter. I matter to the boss upstairs and will try to allow myself to be who I really am, a child of a loving parent, Gd Himself. I’m too tired to be anyone else.

5 years ago

I feel like I don’t matter all that much anymore. Except to help others to get jobs done. But that’s about it. I feel hated by my father. Maybe it’s a matter of geography and time that only then would I actually ‘feel’ that I matter more than this. I feel God seems rather indifferent to the fact that I feel hurt and I feel like I screwed up too much for him to help me now. Mother well I can’t count on her to comfort me either. It’s apparent I don’t seem to matter enough for companionship.

5 years ago

I don’t know any of you but hearing some of you say that you don’t matter breaks my heart. You see, you do matter. You matter to someone else. Be it a family member or a stranger. Everybody is responsible for their own destiny. You and only you get to choose which direction you want to take, no matter what your story is. There will always be someone out there that you matter to. Don’t shut down and be miserable. Put your best foot forward .Always be kind. People respond to kindness. Say something nice to someone or do a kind gesture to a stranger or someone you know. Watch their reaction. You don’t know how much that person might have needed it that day. To them, you will have mattered. Go other there, hold your head up high and tell yourself, I matter. I matter to myself. It is what it is and I get to choose the outcome. The mind controls alot. You be in control. Don’t let it control you. Stay positive. Remember that no matter how rich or poor you are, in the end we all die. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. They are no better than you. You matter. You matter to me.

Dixion Myas
5 years ago

No persons life maters. One day our species will go extinct and the world will keep on going… Until the earth is swallowed by our expanding sun or it is destroyed from the means of space derby, witch shows you how little importance our life and society have that one day our planet wont exist. No one including my self matters at all, if we all died today the only out come would be more recourses for others and wild life. Get over your self non of us are important.

Gary McManus
4 years ago
Reply to  Dixion Myas

You are a nihilist. You are not the first and you won’t be the last.

Kenneth Gray
4 years ago

If I matter to God, then why have I only received silence from Him. Birth isn’t God saying I matter, it’s just biological. Look at it from this angle. One man ,one woman only according to scripture. God’s idea of divorce is like what is considered separated today. Thus if you divorce you are still bound to wait until the other person dies before getting remarried. My father left his first wife and married my mother so after. The first wife is still alive, thus my parents should not have been together to have me. I believe that I have that interpretation of the way God intended marriage and divorce should be right, thus I should never have been born. I am a mistake according to scripture, not part of God’s plan. This could be why God has never answered my prayers, always remaining silent. I don’t matter to God because I should not exist. Thanks and God Bless You

The Meaningful Life Center