Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Importance of Insignificance

Earlier this week I came across an album one of my Facebook friends posted, full of photos of the Rocky Mountains. This woman always has the most unique angle, the best shot or the most creative perspective to capture her current elements. Looking through the photos, I couldn’t help but think about how different her current setting is to her previous one. We used to reside near the same town, surrounded with flat fields and rows of corn and whispering creeks. Now she wakes to the Rockies.

I enjoyed looking through her new (for years now) scenery and admiring how different it is to mine. Then I saw a comment.

“beautiful pictures. makes me feel insignificant.”

I liked that. 

I think it is ok to feel insignificant every so often. In fact, I believe it’s a good thing. Feeling insignificant has a punch-in-the-gut way of reminding us that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.
It’s ok to feel insignificant when you don’t make the team. That experience only pushes you to one day discover your talents. And from talents, you can typically discover your passion. And there is nothing better than unearthing your passion. Oh, dribbling a basketball through your legs? When you’re 85 and reflecting you won’t wish you had done more of it.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when the storm delivers havoc to everything you’ve ever considered normal. The winds will blow, the lightening will strike, waters will rise and things will blow away never to be seen again. Sometimes nature puts on a show to remind us who is in charge. And by storm, I mean weather storm, health storm, people storm, career storm or life storm in general.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when standing next to an endless ocean, under a Kansas sky full of a million stars or within a magnificent mountain range. It is not ok to feel insignificant when standing next to another person. No matter how big they are. Or what they're wearing. 

It’s ok to feel insignificant when waiting on hold with the cable company. What you're experiencing is actually called shoddy customer service. When you finally speak to a representative (who certainly cares about your call), simply and sternly let them know you’re cancelling your service and switching to the competitor. You will no longer feel insignificant.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when you’re overwhelmed with the stuff that can fill up hours, days, weeks, months and years. But you’re also in control of that (in)significance. There are only 940 Saturdays between your child’s birth and when they turn 18. Don’t want to spend those Saturdays at birthday parties watching 5-year-old strangers unwrap Legos and Frozen dolls? Don’t.

Marsha Behm's image "Child Fishing on Lake Allegan."

It’s ok to feel insignificant when you don’t get the job. It humbles you. Teaches you to think on your feet. Guides to where you need to improve. Transforms you into a better speaker. Allows you to grow. Opens better doors. Give you an excuse to buy a new suit.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when you’ve planned, planted, watered and tended the perfect garden and an animal utilizes it as a salad bar. Get yourself a live trap and teach that wascally wabbit who is truly insignificant.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when you look at your life’s goal sheet. That means you’re setting out to do something great. And you still have a long way to go. That’s the best part. That’s the life part.

It’s ok to feel insignificant when you keep track of your months by endless bill, payment stubs and looming deadlines. In this case, the surefire way to be reminded that you’re not insignificant is to miss a payment. They’ll find you.

It’s ok to feel insignificant. Though no one else should ever make you feel that way. 
It’s gratifying to feel insignificant. 
It’s powerful beyond measure. 
Insignificance puts us in our place. 
Insignificance allows us to focus on something bigger than ourselves.
In our small, disconnected, important, individualized place. 

Is it time you go somewhere to feel insignificant?

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