While I was dragging my feet all over this hillside, my daughter wanted to know what I was writing. When I said, “Humans matter more…,” she asked, “More than what?”
We began discussing it. She decided humans matter more than animals. Then she said, “And humans and animals matter more than guns.” And then she added, “Guns matter more than alligators, because we don’t want alligators to eat us,” or something like that.
I thought, “She’s got it about right. Human beings matter more than all of those things.”
Human beings matter more. I’ve devoted my life to helping people understand this simple incomplete sentence, in hopes that they will fill in the blank correctly. In hopes that it will encourage them to see how it applies to themselves and to others, to actions and decisions. In hopes that this simple sentence will force us then to ask, “How am I treating humans as less than?” and “What is it within humans that makes them matter?” and “If it’s not something we can do, but something we are, who are we forgetting?” We discriminate based on abilities and location. But should we?
You matter more…more than my momentary pleasures or my prosperity or even more lofty things like some correct philosophical point I want to make. Human beings matter more.
My daughter got the point of the incomplete sentence almost immediately. It elicited from her very naturally a string of things not as important as humans. I wonder if we can hold that point in focus even as we march further and further away from youth and the clarity that so naturally attends it.
Welcome to the discussion. You truly matter more than just about anything else in the universe.
(originally posted April 25, 2013)