One of the first times speaking to an Elementary School was in 2012. It was for a class project about Civics. That year, as we know, was a presidential election year. Each of us in the class had to take time out of our schedules and excite the young students about the election. The goal was to instill into the students a sense that everyone has a voice in the process, that everyone has significance.
In the presentation, we defined who was running for president, what parties existed, and how the election process works. The students loved it. However, when speaking to any group my approach is to have a simple basic message the audience can take home and grow from. That day, the basic message with my presentation was 2 words: “You Matter”. No matter your background, skin color, religion, favorite sports team, grades, food preferences, etc, Your Life Matters. Summing it up, an election shows us that we all matter in casting a vote. I then told the students to turn to the person next to them and say, “You Matter”.
“WHO MATTERS?” I then asked the group of students. “WE ALL DO!!” was their resounding group response. The hope was that those students would always remember that basic message of truth, but what’s in even greater desire is to see everyone on this planet understand those 2 words as well.
Currently, in our country we’ve been seeing headlines about groups and activists who say “Black Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter,” and many other expressions. Although their intent they cay is all well and good, the idea of one life being greater than another desecrates the basic truth that ALL Lives Matter. Once we say one group of people is better than another, we begin to undermine the true purpose of our lives, not to mention the truth of our existence. The depth of our existence is not based on skin color or differences. We matter not because of our variations, but because of our fundamental value we all share in called life. The word “Matter” means to be have significance and worth. Our world has too many times forgotten that each person was born with that significance, and therefore matters.
Never will I forget my first presentation to that Elementary School, but more importantly I’ll never forget the students who proudly proclaimed their worth that day. Maybe our world can learn some lessons from this example. Maybe we all need to revisit this message in our own lives. Maybe, its time for us to once again turn to someone next to us and say, “You Matter” once more. And Maybe, just maybe, we need to go Back to the Basics, just like we did in that elementary school. Who matters? EVERY Life Matters, because Everyone has a Voice And Every Life has a Precious Purpose waiting to be filled. Truth is: You Matter. We Matter. Everyone Matters.