How do we know if we matter? How do we calculate our existence and our importance with others? Is it by the number of followers we have on Twitter or by the number of “friends” we have on Facebook? Things, most of which hold little meaning, have become important features in our lives. Obscure numbers that measure influence, so that we can compare said influence with others, has shifted into the front of what is important. Status has become something that we strive for, and whether or not we find truth in this idea, ignoring its presence is impossible.
So back to this idea of knowing if we matter. Where do I even begin tackling this concept, this age-old question that, I think, each of us encounters in our lives. Does mattering consist of someone just saying “I love you?” Does it mean gaining a specific number of followers? Is it measured by the amount of money we happen to donate? How do you quantify a person’s matter? While I am sure that a super genius somewhere in the world has come up with an equation, I like to think more abstractly, without science and without math. I think matter is never constant. It is never the same. It is adaptable. It changes with each individual.
Pick a major city and imagine the flood of people walking along the sidewalks. Some are on their phones. Some are humming to the music from their i-pods. Some are walking just for the sake of walking. And while these details are fun to notice, what is even better is the fact that each person quantifies and understands their importance differently. While there will be traces of similarities, there will also be differences, and it is in these differences that we realize the inability to clearly define how we matter. So where does this leave us? Well it leaves me with three paragraphs of words, but it also leaves me with the realization that each of us does matter, even if some of us do not always see it. We are breathing. We are living. We are here. That I am sure of, and because of this, we matter. In the simple act of living, of being present, we matter, regardless if our mattering mirrors the standards of society.