Who Matters? You!
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Who Matters? You!The gift of mere existence.
Jack was funny, caring, and larger than life; he was also my dad’s best friend. Warm memories of times spent with him came flooding back to me as I sat in the church at his funeral along with hundreds of his family members and friends. Jack’s life was truly one well spent. He made a difference in the lives of so many, including over 200 individuals (my own father being one of them) whom he’d helped join Alcoholics Anonymous.
One of the individuals Jack sponsored through the AA program gave a eulogy that day. As this man walked up to the front of the church to talk about Jack, I was immediately drawn to him. He was a beautiful black man with a smile that seemed to light up the entire church. I mention the color of his skin so you can understand the reaction of those gathered when he said, “When I decided to join AA, Jack told me I should join the Black River chapter . . . just because of the name!”
Everyone roared with laughter. Then, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, the man said, “I’m talking about River. What are you all laughing about?” Then his smile beamed even brighter and the church once again was filled with a welcomed laughter that comforted grieving hearts. I didn't speak with the man after the funeral, but I have spoken of him often since that day. I spoke of his joy, the light he shone, and the peace he gave to so many with his words.
I recently discovered that the man who had soothed my heart at the funeral—the one I’d been carrying in my thoughts ever since—committed suicide a few months after Jack’s death. I was shocked. He didn’t look as though he was depressed, suffering, or in pain—which, sadly, is all too often the case.
Immediately upon hearing of his death, I regretted that I had never told him about the impact he had made on me that day. I wished I had told him that no matter what his past had been or what his present experiences were, that he mattered. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change the past. I can’t speak words that were left unspoken. However, what I can do is learn from the experience. One of the lessons I’m taking from this is to seize each opportunity I'm given to tell another: You matter!
I’m going to start right here, right now, with you. You, who are reading this article right now—matter! Just like Jack and the man who gave grieving hearts the gift of laughter, you matter! If you think otherwise—even for a moment—think again. The reality is that you are a precious treasure simply because you exist. Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement, said, “You matter because you are you, and you matter until the last moment of your life.” It's true; you matter.
You matter, now consider: Who matters to you? Who has made—or is making—a difference in your life? Pick up the phone or send an e-mail and tell them. Even if you think they already know, tell them again. Letting others know that they matter—that they’re important, thought about, loved, and appreciated—is a small act that will make an enormous impact. You’ll never know how much the person you tell may have needed to hear those words at that exact moment in time.
You have the power to take a simple action that will ripple out and change the lives of others in a positive way. You have that power because you matter. Don't wait, do it now. Tell a friend, a relative, a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a perfect stranger who has brightened your day, “Hey, I want you to know you matter.” Because the reality is they do, and truly so do you.