THE OVER-MAGNIFICATION OF OURSELVES
I don’t matter. Seriously.
Bear with me. No, I haven’t turned overnight into some dark, depressing writer. I just genuinely believe I don’t matter. Or I should more appropriately say…I don’t matter inthe ways we normally think we matter.
I was flying from San Francisco to Denver last week, a flight I’ve made many times, and this particular Southwest plane didn’t have wireless internet. So my normal routine of getting busy work done during the flight was gladly replaced with reading and gazing out the window as we swept above the ocean just off the San Francisco airport, then back East across the bay area, the desert beyond, and finally across the Rocky Mountains covering much of Utah and Colorado. Mile after mile of beauty from arid dry land, acres upon acres of farms, and towering peaks of all shapes and sizes. This single two and a half hour flight passed over an unbelievable amount of life from animals, plants, fish, and people, most of which I am entirely out of touch with in my corner of the world. Although part of me hates flying because of a highly irrational fear of heights, a huge part of me also loves flying because it allows me to reflect on how truly small we are. It helps me remember that I don’t matter in the ways that I often get caught up thinking about.
My job. My title. My salary. They don’t matter.
My flat tire. My bills. My 401k. They don’t matter.
My cold. My hangover. My bum ankle. They don’t matter.
My strength. My body fat. My clothes. They don’t matter.
My religious beliefs. My political beliefs. My opinions. They don’t matter.
They don’t matter in the sense that there is a gigantic, unending, amazing, beautiful world full of life, death, birth, creation, colors, sounds, textures, creatures, pain, joy, and humans of all shapes and sizes that covers the earth and beyond. Gazing out into the open ocean or soaring 30,000 feet above the literal and figurative peaks and valleys of the world screams out to us loud and clear:
“Maybe you’re focused on things that are fleeting.”
But what about the way I operate within this vast, seemingly endless world?
The attention I put into the people in my life? That matters.
The love and care I put into my marriage? That matters.
The energy I put into the world around me? That matters.
The attitude I take to my work each day? That matters.
The effort I put into creating a better version of myself? That matters.
They matter because they can’t be bought. They matter because there is no end game. They matter because they have nothing to do with the guy in the mirror, and everything to do with the world that I create and contribute to.
I do matter.
I just sometimes need a bird’s eye view of life to remember the reasons why.