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An Invitation to See Your Worth

Writer: Erin Lee

An Invitation to See Your Worth

As 2023 draws to a close, I am not going to ask you to reflect on how successful the year has been for you.

I won't be asking you to think about how much you have accomplished, how many goals you have achieved, how many places you have been, how many important people you have met, or how many things you have checked off on your bucket list.

The value of your existence need not be quantified or measured this way.

Instead, I invite you to contemplate how simply being alive this year has been enough. Your pure existence has been worthy to this world you inhabit.

Recall the everyday moments that may have seemed insignificant to you, and try to see that they were far from meaningless.

Because in one way or another, your being here has had an impact on someone else.

Like that time you cleared the plates and returned your tray after a meal at the food court, so someone else could sit and eat at a clean table.

That time you gestured to an elderly lady to have your seat on the bus, so she could commute more safely.

That time you squeezed a friend's hand, so they knew that even though they were in pain, they were not alone.

That time you paused and said hello to a friendly dog wagging its tail at you.

That time you declined a plastic bag at the grocery store, and used your own bag instead.

That time you skilfully avoided stepping on a frantic ant on the pavement, so it could find its way home.

That time you stayed still when a tired stranger fell asleep on your shoulder in the train, so they could finally have some rest.

That time you left a comment on social media with some words of encouragement for a struggling acquaintance or stranger.

That time you texted a relative you haven't seen in years to check on how they have been.

That time you heard the passing siren of an ambulance, and said a silent prayer wishing for whoever that was headed to the hospital to be safe and well.

That time you clapped for the busker and dropped them a gratuity, even though you had never heard of the song they were singing.

That time you bought some milk and crackers and gave it to the homeless man you passed by every day on your way to work.

That time you decided to go for a jog at the park, inspiring a neighbour you had not spoken with before to restart his workout routine.

That time you took a screenshot of a motivational quote and sent it to a friend, just because you felt it might brighten up their day.

That time you invited a colleague to lunch so that they would peel their eyes away from the screen for a while.

That time you were dining on your own at a restaurant, and made another solo diner feel less alone.

That time you said "no rush" to someone who was running late meeting you, because their safety mattered more.

That time your child observed you holding the lift doors for the delivery man, and learned about being thoughtful.

That time you chose not to give advice to someone and simply listened, because you knew that moment was not about you.


Do you now see how much you are needed?

You don't have to try too hard to be something or become someone in order to succeed in life.

You can just be, and then with a newfound sense of curiosity and wonder, witness how the goodness of your being is making a difference to the world.

Understand that you are so intricately interconnected with everyone and everything, and thus, your presence is worthy and needed.

So there is no need for any grandiosity in closing the year.

Just join me in celebrating the fact that the world has need of you.


The World Has Need Of You

I can hardly imagine it

as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient

prayer of my arms swinging

in counterpoint to my feet.

Here I am, suspended

between the sidewalk and twilight,

the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.

What if you felt the invisible

tug between you and everything?

A boy on a bicycle rides by,

his white shirt open, flaring

behind him like wings.

It's a hard time to be human. We know too much

and too little. Does the breeze need us?

The cliffs? The gulls?

If you've managed to do one good thing,

the ocean doesn't care.

But when Newton's apple fell towards the earth,

the earth, ever so slightly, fell

towards the apple as well.


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