Choose2Matter is a global movement that challenges people to solve problems that break their hearts.
It is a call action that invites you:
To ACCEPT that you matter, by recognizing that you were created for significance, and that you have a contribution to make to the world.
To ACT, by asking yourself, "What breaks my heart about the world? and "what am I going to do about it?"
To ACCELERATE the message that everyone matters.
So how exactly do you accelerate this message?
PEOPLE KNOW THEY MATTER WHEN...
You See Them
In the movie "Avatar," the Na'vi greeted one another with the phrase, "I see you."
It is a clear acknowledgment that there is something worth noticing and appreciating in everyone we meet.
One way to let people know you see them is to begin or end sentences with the word "you."
- I hear you
- I understand you.
- I appreciate you
- It was great to spend time with you
- I couldn't have done it without you
- You made my day
- You are a dear friend
Sure, you may say these already to your loved ones or good friends.
But how often do you say them to people to whom you aren't as close? Do you say these words to students at school, colleagues at work, a crossing guard, a receptionist or a stranger you pass on the street?
You Listen Earnestly
"More and more I've come to understand that listening is one of the most important things we can do for one another.... It can often be our greatest gift. Whether that person is speaking or playing or dancing, building or singing or painting, if we care, we can listen."
- Fred Rogers, "The World According to Mr. Rogers."
Listening means more than quietly nodding your head while waiting your turn to speak again. It means opening your ears and heart and making the other person the sole focus of your attention.
Often, this is all someone needs from you.
You Ask Meaningful Questions
Questions are a window into our minds and intentions. We show people how much they matter by the questions we ask them.
Do you ask meaningful questions that show a sincere interest in the other person?
• What's on your mind these days?
• What was the best moment of your day?
• How did you make a difference today?
• What are your ambitions for this year?
• How can I help you achieve your goals?
You Believe They Can
"All you really need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power and you're off. If you can hand people the key to their own power, the human spirit is so receptive...if you open doors for people at a crucial moment, you are educating them in the best sense. You are teaching them to open doors for themselves."
- Aimee Mullins, "The Opportunity of Adversity," TedMed 2009
When we believe in others and encourage them to believe in themselves, we hand them the key to their own power. We help them stretch their thinking, envision success, and open the door to their true potential.
Words are contagious. Hopeful words infect people with energy and enthusiasm. Cynical words unleash energy-sucking negativity, doubt and fear.
The words we speak to others may be the catalyst that sends someone into an emotional tailspin or the spark that spurs him to great achievements - by sparking the belief that he can.
You Dwell in Possibility
I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
- Emily Dickinson
When we dwell in possibility, we help others to do the same. If people cannot envision the possibility, they cannot achieve the outcome.
Imagination is our mind's eye. It enables us to make the mental leap from present facts to future possibilities. Our capacity to dream, hope and plan for a brighter future depends on the extent to which we use our imagination to dwell in possibility.
You Celebrate Them
Do you know anyone who talks relentlessly about his own accomplishments? Of course you do; these people are difficult to avoid.
Humble people are far more interesting.
When you celebrate the exciting things other people are doing, the strides they're taking, the goals they've met, it reinforces their will to keep moving in a positive direction.
Now, that's an accomplishment worth talking about.
You Do Small Things With Great Love
Give me your hand when I've lost the way
Give me a shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give me your heart to rely on
Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
For always and ever, now and forever
Little things mean a lot
"Little Things Mean A Lot," by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz, 1953.
A "hello" that lingers.
A note of praise, a pat on the back that says, "Job well done."
A phone call that says, "I'm thinking of you."
Small things mean a lot.
Can you imagine how small actions you take today might make a difference in someone's life tomorrow? Can you imagine the ripples those actions might make?
You Show Up
In a post on NPR titled "Always Go to the Funeral," Deirdre Sullivan explains that the title expresses a broader philosophy that,
"I have to do the right thing when I really, really don't feel like it.... I'm talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy.... In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn't been good versus evil. It's hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing."
Most of us fight the same battle.
Let doing good triumph over doing nothing.
Mattering is a choice.
Make the choice everyday to offer, thank, encourage, inspire, and let others know you notice and believe in them. It could be and often will be the most powerful thing you do all day.
Can you imagine what kind of world we can create by helping everyone realize they matter?
Can you imagine how actions you take today, could make a difference in some one's life tomorrow? And how that ripple could last for generations?
This simple, clear message of "YOU MATTER" has the power to change lives and change the world, if we understand it and leverage it in the right way.
Follow Angela Maiers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AngelaMaiers