Each person matters to other people, if for no other reason than the space we each occupy. Walking down the street involves other people. They wait for you, they let you go first, or they wonder if you will let them go first. Each one of us makes a difference to other people because each of us matters.
Having a low view of yourself harms others. Self-esteem is founded on the sense of “self”, that oneself is a real, active person among other people. Having a strong self-esteem is really about knowing that one affects other people—loving oneself is about loving others. Knowing that you are valuable is about knowing that you are already very valuable to others.
Knowing your own value—not value attained, but value that you already have as God’s Image—will help your heart to shine. By being happy, your happiness will spill over to others without effort—because you truly do matter to others. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny, fat, short, tall, ugly, or ridiculously gorgeous; self-esteem is a contagion that spreads to others. The more you value yourself and others, the more others will value themselves.
The deeper value people place on themselves—recognizing how every individual can make an impact on others for better or worse—the better off the world will be because the world relies on people who know that we each, individually matter to everyone else.
If we don’t know how much we matter to others, we will neglect whatever choices affect others the most. Someone who doesn’t matter will speed through a red light, thinking at most, “I don’t affect other people, after all.” But, the belief that one doesn’t matter isn’t really a well thought-through belief, it’s more of a non-conclusion.
People who devalue themselves haven’t made up their minds about themselves or others. They simply move moment to moment, presuming that nothing really matters. When a criminal who doesn’t care about himself gets caught, he acts indifferent in court because he is indifferent about life because he thinks life is indifferent about him. So, the next time people are rude or inconsiderate, you might just demonstrate that they matter.