significance: (noun) the quality of being worthy of attention; importance.
You know what I want?
To feel significant.
And you know why I want that? Because that’s what everyone wants. We are biologically programmed that way. You know that whole “no man is an island” jazz? Well, it’s true. We, as human beings, do not want to be alone. Generally speaking, of course. We all want brief periods of alone time, yes. But overall – we don’t want to feel isolated and unimportant. We want to be a part of something. Because being a part of something means that you matter.
Think about your life and the choices that you make. Don’t they all eventually come down to this very core need? I’ll give you an example from my own life.
I am involved with theatre. This is a pretty blatant display of the need for significance. You become a part of a group of people that are working together to create something. If you’ve ever done theatre, then you’ve seen firsthand how each and every single person that is involved in any way is of the utmost importance. From the outside looking in, it may seem that someone who does theatre is one who feels the need to ‘show off’ or ‘be seen.’ And maybe there’s some truth to that to an extent. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think it’s just like everything else.
It’s that need for significance.
Another example? This blog. Do I write this blog to ‘show off’? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m so insecure about my writing that I still second, third, fourth and seventy-second-guess myself every single time I’ve posted something. No, it’s not showing off. It’s wanting to put something out there in the world that might make a difference. That might stick in someone’s mind and leave some kind of impression. I want my time on this Earth, and this little talent I possess (if you can call it that), to be significant.
If you look at the things you choose to do in your own world, I think you might see what I’m talking about. How somehow, someway, it all ends up coming back to that need.
Especially…yep, you guessed where I was headed with this…relationships.
I mean, think about it – what is the person you’re in a relationship with referred to? Your significant other. The word significant means ‘important.’ So you’re being referred to as the important other. Now, come on, how cool is that, right?
But you know what’s not cool?
When you start feeling like the insignificant other. THAT’s when the troubles start.
You know what would be great? If we could just go up to the people in our lives, whether it be your kid, your parent, your employer, or the person you love, and say, “Hey, maybe you didn’t mean for this to happen, but I’ve been feeling insignificant lately. Can you please offer some reassurance?” Seems so simple, doesn’t it? But nope. That’s not what we silly humans usually do. We’re way too proud for that. No, we’d rather just pick a fight. Now, I don’t think we do this consciously, mind you. But it’s what ends up happening nonetheless. We start accusing them of this, that, or the other. We scream at them (and these can sometimes be silent screams…they hurt just as much) about what they’re doing wrong. Or, in some cases, we may pull back and stop giving our best because we feel like it doesn’t matter anyway so why bother. We do all these stupid little unnecessary things, when all they end up coming down to is simply….
I want to feel significant.
That’s all we’re trying to say. Why is so darn hard to just come right out and say those words? Geez.
Man, we humans sure are stupid sometimes.
Tell someone how much they mean to you. Right now. Go do it. It may be all they needed to hear.
“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.”
– Optimus Prime