“You only matter for as long you give others what they want from you” – this is one of these hard-core rules of life I’d be happier living without, BUT, there is a way to make this down-side of life turn it into a source of rewards. I once read in a parable that I see fit in this context:
A guy has just been shot and is laying on the floor when suddenly someone comes up, looks at the injured body laying on the floor and, picking up a pocketknife, says: “- We need to operate him immediately!”
He bends himself over the body and the people around him say: “- Hey, STOP! Are you a doctor?”
He replies: “- No, but I’m a really nice guy, I’m very responsible, reliable, honest, faithful, and dedicated to everything I do. Besides, I’m very creative, I have great communication and leadership skills and I am also a great team player.”
People look at him with this confused look and say: “- How does this f*cking matter? All we need is someone who knows how to perform the operation this injured guy needs!”
And this parable is an allegory to the real world, where the confused yet well-intentioned guy holding the pocketknife are WE and the injured person lying on the floor is SOCIETY.
Fact is: We live in a society full of people who need things. They need food, housing, entertainment, pleasure, luxury, and what not [such as an emergency operation]. We, on the hand, have things to offer such as being nice, responsible, honest, faithful and etc. [the pocketknife], which do not necessarily fit the demand society has from us.
So how to go about ‘being rejected’ for not giving what others want while still having something valuable to offer? Fact is: No! We can’t force to “operate the injured with a pocketknife”.
We only matter for as long as we give others what they want, right? So, how to make our ‘love, kindness and other traits’ matter if the surroundings seem not to be demanding for it?
Instead of throwing ourselves with a pocketknife trying to perform the operation, we can choose to serve the world as the gear, which will ultimately result in OTHERS performing the operation. We can use our skills to help doing things that people can’t get elsewhere by facilitating and bringing people the things they really need. Although we are not the ultimate performer, we can still draw pleasure from the REWARD of being part of the WHOLE.
And this is why it doesn’t matter if people think we don’t matter at all. At the end of the day, the greatest acts of kindness are those we need no signature underneath. We are the silent gears that make this world a better place.