What Does it Mean to Matter?

Image result for maple leaves autumn

What does it mean to matter?  Does it have to be in relation to someone else? Or is it something that can be determined inherent within all of us?

To these questions, I am unsure of the ultimate answer.  However, it has always been prevalent to me that the question bears more weight than the answer itself.  So, what does it mean to matter to oneself?  To others?

To illustrate this question and to hopefully find an answer I have a story.  It’s probably going to sound a little strange, but hang in there.  It goes like this:

I observe a lot of things. Not like a scientist because I literally suck at science and math but small things like the way sunlight hits the trees on the front quad at school, the energy of chatter rising and falling among friends, and given and made first impressions.In the long summer hours filled with nothing but my own memories and daydreams, I thought about all the people I met in only one year. There is one I can recall quite clearly:

I was on my way to a Spanish conversation class with a friend even though I didn’t really need to be there. Then, all of a sudden there was this girl waving at us. She knew my friend but she was also

smiling at me! She waves hello.  Shit. I don’t know her but she knows me.  Her hair is this fantastic color and the freckles on her cheeks reflect the fallen Autumn leaves littered on the sidewalk; they look like stars.

What do I do? She asks a question that I don’t remember anymore but it was probably a normal standard question. And I respond with something about a beached whale…real cool, I know.But she doesn’t seem offended. Instead, tilting her head up to the sky, she laughs. It blends with the orange and violet undertones of the sky and the leaves and the trees and the sun.  Ok, it’s time now, and I ask for her name.

“Meryn,” she says.

“Ok I’ll remember that.”  And I never forgot.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk with her much after that.  I wish one day to be that full of the present invention of joy and happiness as Meryn seemed to be on that one fading afternoon. Whatever she may have been truly feeling I’ll never know, but I’m know that I’m grateful for being able to meet her.

I sent this story to Meryn herself before I published this and while I felt a little strange in doing so, I also felt it to very important that she knew about it.  Perhaps it is the fact that she isn’t going to return to school next year.  I mean, we interact with the people in our lives on an everyday basis thinking about the ways the people in our relationships mean to us.But what of the people we don’t know so well?  Do they or even should they mean anything to us?  We never talked much, Meryn and I, but she made a lasting impressing on me.  So to answer this question that I asked at the beginning:  What does it mean to matter?

Even though I didn’t know Meryn very well, I’m still going to miss her.  I guess you could say she mattered to me, and to me this answers the question.  Your worth or anyone else’s cannot be measured. Not by the amount of friends you have or the number of Christmas cards you get or how many people sit with you in the dining hall.

I’ve attended funerals where I don’t really know the person who died, but she still had an impact on my life and the hundred other people at the service.  Why do we wait?  While a person’s worth cannot be measured, you, me, us need to be reminded every now and then that we are appreciated, wanted, and valued.   And for all intents and purposes, I take no shame or loss of pride in letting Meryn or anyone else know.

Where this starts, then, is within yourself.  Self-respect, self-worth, and self-value.  While I wish that Meryn would be staying at school, the fact is that she’s not.  She’s leaving and for that I commend her. Recently I said goodbye to an institution that I valued for many years because I thought I could mean something to it.  I never did.  I’m not mad or angry at the people who couldn’t even remember my name after five years.  But I am a little angry at myself.  Why?  Because I believed that if I gave them my services, my personality, and my time, my worth in their eyes might increase.

Here’s the thing though: Self-depreciation cannot be traded for appreciation.  It’s a false system of belief.  I’m not saying to just give up on a job or an internship, but know yourself and don’t lose hope that your current situation is as good as it’s going to get.  For me, my memory of meeting Meryn is a reminder to never take life too seriously and to be yourself, because there are going to be those really great people who will accept you for who you are.  And once you realize your worth, others will begin to notice too.  Just remember to give back and let the people around you know how much they mean to you!  🙂

Ok, so this was something that’s been weighing on my mind.  Not to leave on a somber or wistful note, here’s some Calvin and Hobbs 

Advocating for Peace: A Facebook Rant that Never Made it to Facebook

“Harsh words can destroy friendship.  Since happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others, if we destroy friendships, we undermine one of the very conditions of happiness itself.”
~ H.H. the Dalai Lama

I fully support inner peace and happiness
I think we all should. I mean, we’d all be happier and more willing to resolve our problems together if we brought our heads down from the argumentative forum.
No one likes to suffer. No one likes to stay angry and feel that the world is unjust and that there’s nothing to be done about it because they feel that they’re voices have been suppressed.
That’s simply not true.
No one can take someone’s voice and power away,
Not without the consent of that person.
Not that it’s the individuals fault for losing her or his voice and confidence.
I only mean that you are the only one who can say whether or not you have a voice.

Putting up barriers and defensive questions doesn’t reach out to others in a debate.
Instead it retracts and pulls the speaker into herself.
No need to fight.
We’re all on the same page here. To be happy and at peace with each other
Hate fuels hate.
Love will bring more love.
Demonizing each other does not justify ANYTHING
And by choosing sides one loses all perspective
If you have the opportunity, climb above the chaos to see the bigger picture
And then speak for those who need a voice. That’s the difference.  Advocating instead of fighting.
By Advocating, you have an opportunity to meditate between different ideas and find resolution.  
Chat Conversation End
Just to note, I don’t want to insinuate anything about the current events have been happening around the world.  I’ve never really presented a strong opinion on this blog, but I feel that being an advocate for peace is something that I’m not afraid for which to stand up.  Thanks for understanding 🙂 

When is it Time? (To Be a Child)

When is it Time?
(To Be a Child)

What does it mean to act your age?
When is it time to put childhood dreams away?
Why do we seek answers to unanswerable questions?

Perhaps we aren’t looking hard enough,
or maybe we are looking too hard.
Will a gentle breeze remind you of home?
What will you feel then?

Loosing a memory long locked away behinds guards
now being undone and set free.
The thrill of emotions overcome you
and the war between childhood and now, tear you apart.

But is there a difference?
Maybe there is no difference.
Perhaps they are one.
To be a child, you hold your future in the palm of an outstretched hand,

Like sunshine on a bright summer day you are free.
Drenched in the sluggish honey heat, time hangs listlessly, unable to touch you.
There is no time.
To be a child is in
the memory,
the future,
and the now.

~Keys2Change