Significance….is it important?
I would be amazed if significance is not high on your mental agenda. Whether you have thought about it or not. That is the way we are. None of us wants to feel insignificant.
All of us need to have a sense of being, a reason for being. We need a sense of purpose, of meaning and acceptance. We desire the sense of importance that comes from being needed. We want to make a difference. These aspects are all wrapped up in significance.
Can we live without it? Probably, but it would be miserable and depressing. Feeling insignificant is painful. Few of us would like to acknowledge that we feel insignificant.
Yet I think we are all occasionally faced with questions such as, “Why am I here?” or “Am I making a difference?” And the older we get we think “What will I leave behind?” or “How will I be remembered?” We might even wonder what would be said at our funeral – perhaps it might be better if we don’t know!!
If significance is important to you and me then it is important to most people. So I ask the question, “How often do we work at making others feel significant?”
We might think it is just a question of making someone else feel important. I think it is more than that. Surely the objective is for them to feel accepted by us for who they are, and not for what they think we would like them to be. Our interest in them must be genuine and authentic. We should acknowledge them for the contribution they make to life and especially into our lives.
Think about this situation. A friend shares some exciting news – exciting to them! How do we respond? We must respond positively and show a genuine interest in the conversation. We should give it our full attention and not let our minds wander or think about what we might want to say. Our response is critical.
How we respond to the other person’s remarks conveys to them the level of our sincerity and determines for them just how important they are, or not, to us.
Superficial and non-committal answers indicate our minds might be elsewhere and that the subject matter is of little significance to us. Because they identify very closely with their news, they will never feel significant if their news or conversation is summarily discarded. We need to respond with feeling and understanding.
It is imperative that at this stage we recognize the conversation is not about us. It is about them and what they want to share. The worst thing we can do is say, “Oh yes, that reminds of when I…..” Our mind should be totally focused on what is being said.
The whole experience should lead us to ask intelligent questions relating to the subject. It should spark a deeper and more meaningful conversation and create an invitation to share more.
This is just one small way we can help others to enjoy significance. We should be quick to commend them as a person, on their achievements and on their attitude. We need to be assuring and affirming. We need to make a positive input into their lives. Above all we need to be a genuinely caring friend.
Go and make someone feel significant today!