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.