Choose a reason, any reason.
your childhood sweetheart smiled today when he thought of you, even though it’s been 20 years and he’s married, with kids, down in texas
you witnessed snow drift down onto the branches before anyone else woke up–you were the first!
you saw the sun open up a day and seal it closed–and that comforted all the lonely people who saw it too.
you watched a youtube video, and the maker was thrilled to see his view count jump; he was about to quit when you hit the “like” button.
do you still feel like you’re useless? how high-maintenance are you? well, then:
so, you’ve been feeling like you don’t matter, like you’ve failed at life.
but let’s zoom out.
here’s you: ·
here’s all of human history:
(The Histomap by John Sparks, 1931)
if you can’t even see napoleon’s name, do you think yours really matters?
success or failure, in the scope of eternity, your life is no more than a blip!
so, whatever your expectations are for yourself, hold them loosely, with some humor. don’t be the man who’s boasting about being the world champion in thumb war–it’s very silly from an eternal perspective. you actually are useless, if you’re thinking in terms of achievement.
but guess what? i couldn’t read napoleon’s name, so even he must actually be pretty useless too.
and if even napoleon’s useless, there’s no reason for you to squeeze into someone else’s box of “success.” what have they done? they’re the president? oh, and pray, what’s not useless about that? or they’re saving children in africa? just one useless person saving more useless people. a bagger at walmart? just providing a service because for some reason….
we think this heap of uselessness is worth preserving.
i can’t give you any reasons for that, except the ones I already gave up at the top, those ones you wrote off as trite.
you’re alive, and so are other people, and so is the world and the spinning universe, even in its farthest stretches. despite the fact that you aren’t twitching the marionette strings that make it dance, you’re not useless. you’re…. a cell. a miniscule part of the whole. satisfied now? no? i don’t understand why not. you still feel like you have to be more than that?
do you think if you ask me enough, i’ll tell you that when you die, the universe won’t continue to breathe as regularly as it had before? that the suns won’t rise and set, and the many moons won’t spin around a billion blue planets?
it’ll be your loss, not ours, when you die because you will never again observe that a vine has unfurled a new leaf. or that a silly person dyed her hair aqua and looks like an alien. or that it’s funny that when we look into the stars, we think they might be looking back at us. or that, in your mailbox, there’s a letter waiting from a stranger who just enjoys writing letters in the hopes of a reply from the unknown. and you won’t be able to wonder what mysteries the seafloor still hides, or crawl into a cave that nobody else has found, or buy a strange and useless invention like a salad spinner and set it out on the curb by a reeking dumpster that’s full of eggshells because someone baked a gigantic quiche for their wedding reception.
none of that! you’ll lose it all!
so i’ll say it again! you’re useless, useless to me and to the universe. but everything i just said should have convinced you of one thing.
you’re not useless to yourself.
you may have nothing to give, but the Creator wants to give you the rains on misty mount fuji and the hazy play of the light in a burst of multicolored flame all through the watery landscape and that dour, soaked feeling that transforms to joy when the weather is warm and you’re holding your baby with one hand gripping a squishy thigh and she laughs. if you’re not here, that doesn’t happen.
you don’t get joy, you don’t get depression. you get nothing.
so, please stop thinking you have to earn the right to exist.
hold onto life with all the selfishness you’ve got.
you’re not God’s gift to the universe. the universe is God’s gift to you.