You're more than the J word

You are important and you matter; get used to it!

People are so quick to minimize their importance.

Employers aren’t paying people to do jobs that don’t matter. If the job didn’t matter, if it wasn’t necessary, then there wouldn’t be a job.

Last week, I was blessed to visit my old stomping grounds at KGH, when I ran into an old colleague. I was excited to see her and catch up on what she’s up to.

I was taken aback when she began her sentence with, “I’m just a….”. She used the ‘J’ word, minimizing herself and her role using just.

She isn’t ‘just a’ anything! Her role makes a big difference to many people. And, the way she does her job matters even more.

 If she hadn’t shown up that day, or if she’d shown up without the warmth and caring necessary for her role, it would have been significant to a whole lot of people.

I’m curious about our tendency to devalue own personal worth and the importance of the parts we play .

We don’t have to be a big cheese to be of value either. Each of us, the roles we play, and the way we do them, matter greatly.

Imagine if there were no:

  • clerks in the stores
  • drivers to transport the goods
  • cleaners to maintain order and hygiene.

Imagine parents and grandparents not parenting; consumers not purchasing.

What we do, no matter how small and mundane, is important.

And the personal factor, the special ingredient, is what brings meaning and purpose to our lives and the lives of others.

Reflect on the last time you had a rude clerk and how you felt. If you have the choice to interact with a person who’s upbeat and engaged, or another who’s clearly a crabby-pants, which one will you choose?

It’s easy to fall asleep at the wheel of life and forget that what we do and say affects the lives of those we encounter. And, it affects us. What we put out to the world comes back to us.

I love to use even the mundane tasks of life as an excuse to show up and connect.

I love to see the simplest things as an excuse to spend myself as a secret agent for good in the world.

I love to perform random acts of kindness, even if it’s as simple as offering a smile or a compliment.

It may sound silly, but I have to tell you, it makes my life interesting and brings me more joy and happiness than you might imagine.

A visit to the grocery store is an adventure. It’s fun to make friends with all the people I get to interact with. It makes me feel better, and it boosts my mental, emotional, and physical health.

I recognize people are often carrying big burdens and concerns. I see them through the eyes of compassion.

 I make it a mission to connect with those who seem down, just to see if I can brighten their day, even for a moment. It works most of the time. Some I win, and others I lose, but I want to feel I’ve tried.

We are each an important piece of the puzzle. If we weren’t there, in all of our own uniqueness, something would be missing from life. The picture wouldn’t be complete.

We may not always be able to control life’s circumstances, but what we can control is the way we show up, remembering we are each important. You matter.


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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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