You is important.


Have you ever seen the movie The Help?

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

Yeah, I know.
It gets me every time.

There is something spectacular about a woman who is treated as though she is not smart, not kind, or in the least bit important – telling her employers children they are.

After I saw the movie there were a ton of different pillows, crochet pieces, and posters people created with the saying.

I created my own, too and tacked it up on my bulletin board.
And every morning, I read it.

Read it everyday.

Because the truth is, I am kind.
I am smart.
And I do matter in the grander scheme of this great big world.

And it is also true that no one ever told me.
No one ever said you’ll do great things one day, kid.
Or that the power to be great was in my own hands.
Or that I mattered.

Was I loved?
Absolutely.
Am I cared about?
Without a doubt.

But – being loved and being assured I matter aren’t the same things.
And I firmly believe that with children we teach them they matter by example.

Parents, teacher, family, friends, all have this overwhelming and yes, sometimes daunting role to show our kids that WE matter in our world and they in turn matter too.

I remember a day in my third grade classroom, with Juan. 
Now, here’s me toot tooting my own horn, but I pretty much always have perfect attendance.

My kids want to be there.
They show up – they work hard – and we grow.

So, when Juan wasn’t there – well – I knew something was wrong.
Juan’s mother had given birth to his baby sister and he was at the hospital still.

The next day he came to school with a picture of his sister and smile the size of the Colorado River (Cannibal: The Musical reference – anyone?).

Yes, he’s as cute as you're assuming he is.
He sat with me at breakfast and we chatted.
“Miss,” he said, “I have a baby sister.”
I smiled my best teacher smile and told him how proud he must feel.
“Yes, Miss, I have an important job.  It is hard to be a big brother and a son and a school kid.”
I smiled even wider.

You’re right if you think this child is wise.
I stared at him, eye to eye.
“Juan,” I said slowly, “You are so important in this big, big world.  And just because you are you and you are here, and you are working hard at being a big brother, and a son, and even a school kid, makes you amazing.  Comprende?”

His eyes left mine, shifted towards his cereal, and I heard his little feet shuffle beneath his desk.
Then his eyes returned to mine and I saw the big smile on his face, “Yes,” he offered with a deep breathe.

And I thought then, as I do now, how important it is to tell others that they matter.
That the role they play in this great big world is SO very important. 

And you don’t have to WORRY how you matter-  about being you or being perfect or being the best at anything – if you let the light shine from within – you will grace others with your light.

And that, more than anything else, if you can stop and see it, is you mattering.

Yeah, I know mattering isn’t a verb (or even a real word).
But I want it to be.

Because if we all spent more time mattering. 
Being ourselves.
Letting our lights shine.

We could teach our children, early on, that they matter, too.

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5 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! I watched your episode over the weekend and was so inspired! I would love to interview you for my blog one day! Let me know what you think! My boyfriend was watching you work out and said "She is like Rambo - look at her go!" I thought you would like that. We thought you were awesome, and girl you rocked that bikini - be so proud of yourself. You are so amazing!!! :)

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    1. Awe!
      Thanks for your kind words.
      I FELT like a warrior at the end and that's actually my name at the Crossfit Gym I go to :)

      You're amazing!

      And I'd be HONORED to be interviewed by your blog.
      And perhaps you'll consider GUEST POSTING here at We Matter?!
      <3

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  2. Wish I felt like I mattered. Not feeling it lately. :( I've got so much head knowlege that I matter, but my heart just doesn't seem to get it. Thanks for making me think though.
    I LOVED the movie THE HELP. I especially loved the song at the end.
    Trying to get my heart to believe my head. It's just such a long journey from head to heart. :( Diane

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  3. Love this post! You have such a way with words and getting to the heart of the matter. :) Pun kind of intended.

    I think you are amazing!

    Jacquie

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  4. I was in an extremely abusive relationship. I was paralyzed. I live every day of my life in pain. My father, my biggest fan, died Dec 30th of last year. I'm one of the strongest people that I know, but i really believed that i need counseling until tonight. I've been crying for over two hours now. I try so hard to give to others so that I can take my focus off myself. At home, I'm falling apart. I cry for things lost and for my future. My apt is a mess and so am I. Tonight I told my mom that I really need to follow through and get counseling. She told me that I was overthinking things and being dramatic like I always am and that I'm just disgusting and lazy and don't take care of myself. Told me top just stop overthinking things and just fix it. So now I feel like I'm making excuses for myself. Through is: I don't know how to stop overthinking things. She says it's simple ... just don't do it. Change how I think and act. Simple right? I believe I need help but I don't want her to be ashamed of me. And I wish I could stop going to her for the approval that I KNOW I will never find. I've been through so much, i need someone who will listen. I know that she doesn't understand and as much as I want her to, she doesn't want to and I need to accept that and do what's best for me. That's right, right?

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