If you’re like me, you’ve woken up and not liked what you’ve seen in the mirror. Or maybe you’ve not really liked the way your classes are going, or you’ve questioned your potential in life. Maybe you believe that you’re insignificant. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the answer to that is, yes, you are.
Before you read too much into that or flip to a different article, allow me to explain: there are currently seven billion people on this planet (I had to Google this), and all of them are playing some role in the continuity of humanity. We as individuals are just another piece to this expansive puzzle between birth and death. While I know this explanation doesn’t do anything to comfort you or give you a thorough explanation, I still ask that you trust me.
I was driving home a few weeks ago and happened upon a church sign that read, “God has a history of using the insignificant to accomplish the impossible.” I stopped to take a picture of it because something about that statement resounded within me, and I had to keep a record of it to ponder on.
Growing up, I was told that in the church community and in the world at large (in my case, as a male), I am the hero of the story, that I am the main character; I am the significant one in the story of life, but what if that’s not the case? Maybe my role in society, the church, the classroom, in the workplace and life in general is to not be the significant one. Maybe my role is to be the underdog, the marginalized one, the insignificant one. This thought is scary, because if you’re anything like me, you feel the need to be the significant one who is in control. Life is never a game of chance because you’ve already calculated the risk and reward of every situation, and you only choose the rewarding paths, the paths that put you in the middle of the action and make you the one deserving of praise.
Well I’m writing this to tell you that this choice of lifestyle is exhausting and draining. Because of the high standards I set for myself, I fill my head with ideas of what success and significance look like. From this point forward, I choose insignificance because I believe that real change for the good in this world comes through the people behind the scenes throughout history that have brought about equality and love to people deemed unlovable and trivial. This life of insignificance must be spent by putting others above myself and working to serve the needs of people who are neglected. Making the decision to love people even when it’s unpopular or difficult (maybe even people you didn’t necessarily want to hold an elected office) is necessary.
As my time at Harding is quickly drawing to a close, I reflect on my years as someone looking to make a name for myself, to become a legend, to become someone talked about beyond my years here. I now realize that this pursuit is not what it’s about, it’s about the small steps behind the scenes we take to make this world a better place.