By: Staci Stallings
Maybe it’s a given that we all want to feel important. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s possible that we get to a point where we don’t need earthly connection. However, feeling important, wanted, seen, and yes, even loved is important to most of us.
But important can be defined so many different ways. To some, important = success, top billing, top down, leader of the pack. To others it just means for a few minutes a day, it would be nice if SOMEONE knew you were on the planet.
Interestingly, I’ve written about both types of people, and at the core of it all, they really aren’t that different.
Oh, on the outside it looks like they have radically different goals and lives. After all, what does the CEO who is making $10,000 a minute have in common with the mom who just got home with a new baby and is now in the throes of midnight feedings and diaper changes? On the surface maybe not much.
The CEO wears Armani, and the mom’s wearing whatever’s not stained. The CEO is the head of a multi-national. The mom would like five minutes of alone time to sleep.
But I challenge you to look just a little deeper. Look for a moment at why each person does what they do.
When you look at the mom, you see a woman who is stressed but would love not to be. She loves what she does, but it would be nice to get a “way to go” or better yet a “can I help?”
Our CEO is also stressed, and he would really like for somebody (anybody!) to be grateful for his work, to be grateful for all he does for the company, to get a “way to go” or even a “can I help?” He wants to be recognized. He does what he does because he wants to feel important.
I think we are all quietly or loudly asking, “Does anybody hear me?”
One secret to life I have found by hanging out with God is simply this: Realize that every person you come in contact with wants to be heard, they want to feel important. The more you can make them feel genuinely important to you, the greater impact on their life you will have. In fact, just doing that can make life change for them in ways you can’t even imagine.
That’s what God does with each of us. God hears us in deeply personal ways. He will hear you when you talk to Him. He may not always answer the way you want Him to, but He is always there to listen. And when you’re with Him, He will send others to you to listen as well… especially if you make it a point in life to listen to others. Never take really listening for granted. It’s the key to unlocking every other person on the planet.
What are they like? What are their fears? What is their biggest joy? What is their biggest disappointment?
The truth is that it is the connection that is important to all of us. It is the feeling of connection that makes us feel important. Ultimately that’s why the CEO works so hard. He wants to be someone others look up to–that’s a connection. The mom wants to be someone her child can count on–that’s a connection, a point of importance.
Kids, co-workers, friends, spouses. They are all looking to be heard, to see if they matter to you. Do they? Are they important to you?
If someone is important to you, take the time to make them feel it by listening and really being there for them. Otherwise, no matter how important they really are to you, they will walk away believing the answer is no. And that is the greatest tragedy in life: to be loved and to be important but feel like you are not.