Why You Are Not Insignificant (And Other Thoughts On Why You Matter)

Do you ever feel insignificant in your world? Your job? Your friend group? It’s an easy thing to experience these days. People are used and abused for their talents or lack there of and very rarely appreciated. And I think we as a culture devalue ourselves when we do things that don’t seem overly glamorous.

I was reminded of this over the weekend as my church choir prepared for our annual Christmas cantata. It was the first time we sang the entire show all the way through and had someone outside of the choir running the controls. (Previously the pastor had been running back and forth between the computer in the back of the sanctuary and the stage to sing tenor.) It’s not that the job was particularly hard. Someone simply needed to stop the music tracks between songs for the reader to be able to add his narration. The most difficult part was probably starting the music back up on cue near the end of each narration. We employed a young boy from the congregation to help us, and I wondered as he sat back there more than likely bored out of his mind as we sang our hearts out, if he felt like he wasn’t doing much. Like in comparison it seemed like we were doing all the work. I mean, the choir had been the ones practicing for weeks. But what I knew (and really the whole choir did) was that this boy’s job of starting and stopping the music was so important to us. In my book, it ranked just as high as our practice. Maybe even more.

What he probably doesn’t realize is that doing something as simple and invisible as starting and stopping music seems astronomically important to us because we can’t do it. We’re up on stage with no controls nearby, but if that music doesn’t play or starts too early or too late, we’d be royally screwed up. We need him back there for us, and it was such an incredible relief to sing through the cantata for the first time with the music starting and stopping where it was supposed to! It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders as I realized that the music controls would be one less thing we needed to worry about.

All of this is to say that no matter how insignificant you think you are—in life, at work, with friends, in your family—I guarantee you that you’re worth so much more than you realize. The world is like a machine in a way and all the cogs and bolts and gears need to be in place for it to work correctly. We don’t always acknowledge or celebrate those bolts and screws—quite frankly, we take them for granted many times—but without them the machine wouldn’t work the way it should.

To me, it’s nice to be so gently reminded of the importance of all the pieces. It gives me a little boost of self-esteem because goodness knows do I ever feel insignificant at times! (Many times!) I hope as we go into the holidays, you’ll take the time to appreciate those small, insignificant-seeming things you and others do for the world we live in. They matter. You matter.

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