I often feel my existence is futile.
That my little blip of a life will surely, quietly pass into oblivion, when my insect size verve is swatted out from a universe so vast that science is unable to explain how it ends. That my count is fated to be unrecorded—a nameless, faceless digit that will be swallowed in the cosmic sums of time.
How on earth do I matter?
Why continue chasing my dreams when the goals seem so unattainable? Mathematically speaking, in a century’s time—I won’t be remembered as a great poet or author, and my work will probably be forever erased from a computer riddled history.
So what’s the point?
Because sometimes, our contributions are so small and unrecognisable that we fail to realise their true impact. Every day, in our own meagre existence, we impact others around us in the great jigsaw puzzle that makes life.
Do you know that the old lady you pass on the street each day—you know, the one with tired, lonely eyes—always looks forward to seeing your smile? Did you realise your “Hello!” brightens her day and distracts her from the grief of losing her husband six months ago?
Did you know that the angry man at work you walked off on has unspoken demons that years of abuse make it impossible to express? Your action made him question his behaviour, and tonight he will go home, think about his life and call his mother to try and reconcile their differences.
Did you know that your kindness to the sales boy at the furniture shop made his day, as the previous customer had been unreservedly rude and almost got him fired?
Did you know that when driving to work this morning, taking the main road instead of the backstreets caused the lady behind you to miss the traffic lights? She cursed you at first, but when she found a parking spot right outside work, it had her smiling all day.
Did you know that girl you buy your early morning coffee from mixed up your “usual,” because the night before her boyfriend broke up with her? But messing up your order meant she had to stand at the coffee machine a few moments longer, and in that time, the boy next in line (who had been secretly admiring her) handed her his number. Years later they will still be dating, and one day they will have three children together.
Did you know that when you went to the chemist to pick up your prescriptions—no make up, tired and disheveled—the lovely man behind the counters was immediately concerned for your welfare? His genuine and caring nature calmed you down after a poor night’s sleep. There wasn’t anything seriously wrong, but his compassion stayed with you. He went home that night full of ideas for extending his major to psychology. He would later grow up to be a recognised and respected psychologist who will assist depressed young adults from committing suicide.
Did you know that when you said good evening to your neighbour tonight you will be the last person they see? He is going to die peacefully in his sleep, and won’t be found until tomorrow afternoon when her son calls in to check up on her.
Did you know that from the day I started concentrating on my dreams of writing poetry, I felt I was finally doing the thing I was supposed to do? That when one person read a poem about grief, she felt so affected, she wrote to tell me how it changed her life. To me, that matters.
Most importantly, I did actually see that my little existence mattered to three people today. I hugged my children, kissed my husband, told them I loved them and went to bed.
I may be insignificant—I may be without fame or fortune and will never be placed in history books—but my petty little actions affect this jungle of a broken world and will help change history.
This intricate puzzle of life exists for the pieces that are placed around. Although at times we are mismatched and feel uncertain—there is an unspoken but connected purpose in our daily living.
We all matter, even if we can’t fully understand why or how.
In our separate lives, we all somehow fit together in a beautiful rhythm of life.
Tell me now, you think you don’t matter?
Author: Miriam Rule
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Bailey Weaver