I know we don’t know each other. I’m just this voice on a page from another time and place, but I think you matter. I think you are amazing. I think you are magnificent.
It probably doesn’t always feel that way. We have a really terrible society that tends to only value people if they can either generate wealth or grab people’s attention. If you aren’t able to make a lot of money or gain thousands, or better yet, millions of followers, then it can sometimes feel like you have no value — that you don’t matter. That your existence is worthless.
This is a lie.
Of course you matter.
Out of all the trillions upon trillions of permutations that could have happened, life created you. You are the product of environments and experiences that will never again happen. That gives you a unique voice that no one else has, and that is intrinsically valuable.
The evidence of this is all around us.
We see our value in the work we put out into the world for free. The blogs we write. The pictures we post. The paintings we paint. The shows we perform. The videos we make. Hundreds, if not thousands of people, consume our voices, but few of us are properly compensated for this.
We see our value in the way companies pay billions of dollars for our insights. Our data — our perspective — is constantly being mined and packaged for companies. We largely give it to them for free.
We see our value in the children we raise. The work we put into imparting our kids with knowledge and skills goes on to creating “productive” members of society. These new beings are part of our voice, living on into the next generation (though I’d like to stress that they are their own people too). No one extensively pays us to continue the species. We simply do it.
We see our value in the friendships we maintain, and the people we care for. Through the course of our lives, we manage the emotions of dozens, maybe even hundreds of people. We help friends when they need to move. We call our siblings when they are feeling blue. We help our relatives or friends when they are ill. We are there for the people we love. Few are paid for these connections, and yet it is a necessary part of being human.
The fact that society doesn’t compensate you for these valuable things isn’t your fault. You deserve to exist. Your perspective should be respected and nourished. You are entitled — yes, entitled — to the food, housing, healthcare, emotional support, and education that will allow your voice to grow.
You have been erroneously led to believe that you aren’t deserving of these things because a small group of people have convinced us that their voices matter more. These CEOs, politicians, authors, artists, and entrepreneurs have fabricated the myth that they are more deserving of existence. They are valuable because they produce money and attention and that’s valuable because it produces money and attention. These people have repeated this tautology so often that we have all been collectively gaslit into believing we are worthless.
No one is so fast that they deserve to outpace those they leave behind; so pretty that everyone else deserves to feel ugly; so strong that they deserve to rule over hundreds; so intelligent that they deserve a life of comfort while everyone else suffers.
No one is more deserving.
The self-loathing you feel about being worthless is a societal problem, not an individual one.
You matter, and I’m glad you exist.
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