Do You Matter?
I wrote a fairly haphazard introduction to the idea of personal versus global a couple of weeks ago and now I’m going to attack at least a couple of the points specifically.
When it comes to our sense of identity we are able to switch from the global to the personal almost instantaneously.
The first and only way we experience life is through our own bodies, senses and perceptions. The world is contained within us and we are the world. We live our lives in order to ensure our continuing existences, because without that, there would be no world. To ourselves, we matter quite a lot.
However, when global issues face us, we are suddenly insignificant. We are nothing. We are nobody. Of course we can’t change a thing, how could I make anything different for anybody? My actions don’t affect global events, why should I even try to make a difference? What can I do? I’m a mere speck on this rock which hurtles around a dying star. One tiny, insignificant life form…
Every action that we undertake has a direct effect on the world. Every action.
Everybody needs to pick a side. Either you matter, or you’re not. Either you are significant and worthwhile and therefore totally able to make choices and decisions which will bring about change, or you’re not.
Smiling at the driver or a car which stopped so you could cross the road might restore their faith in humanity. Signing that petition to stop baby chicks being ground up in factories might be the tipping point on that issue. Turning the tap off when you brush your teeth will save up more resources for tomorrow. Buying eco-friendly washing powder will put less chemical crap in the sewage system. Running two metres a day will help you lose weight faster (than doing nothing at all).
These things we do may seem small and insignificant. One person. One day. One change. Like I’ve said before, one grain of sand added to another grain of sand becomes a landslide. And landslides can move mountains. Every action we undertake affects the world. Either believe that you matter and that your actions affect the world or…truly believe in your insignificance.
(Here’s a hint. Nobody is insignificant.)