I love the section in The Little Prince when the narrator, a man we only know as The Pilot, speaks matter of factly about how humans think they are of great importance. He says that we like to think we are so important and we take up a great deal of space but, in reality, if we were to lump up all the population of the world, we cold all fit on a very tiny island. To be sure, the world’s population could probably not fit on a tiny island, but the point is the same: our self-importance takes up far too much room. Humans are ego hoarders.
It has always been difficult for me to even begin acknowledge any space at all that I might occupy. I recognize that I am in no way A Big Deal. I am not important as far as being significant to the community or society. I am not an influencer. I am not a change agent. I do not create a stir when I walk into a room. I am comfortable with being overlooked and passed over and being gold-star-less. I do not belong with the power players.
My purpose is not to take up space. My purpose is to improve the space I’m in. I want to quietly go about my life, raising my kids, and play with the world around me. I am not a big deal now. And that’s okay. But what I do now is a very big deal.
Right now, I am teaching my children self-worth and to embrace their intelligence and integrity. I am showing them that it’s okay to be assertive and respectful at the same time. I want them to learn that they should live their dreams but have a back-up plan. I am modeling for them that they don’t have disposable purpose: they don’t live their lives only for now; they live their lives for later, too.
I am building up their future so that I am part of their past. That is all the importance I need.
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8 thoughts on “I’m sort of not a big deal.”
I’m such a big deal. What, with all the glitter, and the sparkles, and the crazy pictures I send 500 times a day, and the pink, and all that jazz. . . . Or rather, I was weirdly raised in a generation where we were brought up with explosive egos and ideas that we were all LIFE CHANGERS! DOERS! CRAZY HUGE THINKERS WHO WOULD SHAPE THE WHOLE PLANET! JUST BY BEING ALIVE!
I call it the ‘curse of graduating in the year 2000.’ I sat through 4 HUGE, ‘important’ speeches about how ‘important’ we were all to become, and felt completely off kilter. Possibly because i had moved so much, maybe because I had felt so many of life’s hard knocks already, but everyone was just going on and on about how important we were all supposed to become and what grandiose things we were supposed to be doing.
And . . . I thought, “Why on earth can we all not just think about our own little corners of the world? Bringing the best we’ve got there?” Because, while yes, I want to publish books and yes, I want to do nonprofit work in women’s health and HELP bring change, and YES, I feel my life has value and a plan . . . but my value is nothing if I cannot help others, even in small ways
You put it so succinctly. But really? No. We are a small mass of rock with tiny critters scrabbling around on it. Perhaps plans to maximize happiness and helping others are better ways to spend time than looking at ourselves in foggy mirrors and checking our teeth every five seconds.
You bring up an excellent point. I think we were brought up in a a time when we were told that we would change the world. Really, world changing is a collective effort and we’re already doing that by doing what we can.
and that is, in fact, the most important thing.
You are so much more than that; but, this…this is the most important gift that you can give to your children and to the world at large!
I actually am sort of a big deal, but this is the most important to me 😉
Would that more people thought like that…
We could change the world.
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