Dear Reader: #YouMatter.

[Note: this post was written before a follow-up called Deflating The Balloon: Addressing the fight against numbness and depression, which takes a  significantly different approach.  Although I think there is definitely some value here in this essay, if I was writing it today, I’m not sure i would approach it in quite the same way.  That said, I think it provides an interesting viewpoint and hope it is of value to those folks out there struggling with constant self-doubt.]

Are you sitting down? I have something very important I need you to know.

Ready?

You matter.

There are people out there, many of whom you’ve never met and may never meet, who would not be where they are it wasn’t for you.  Do you get that? Does that sink in?

Who you are and what you do affects people. You have a place in the world that is uniquely your own, a perfect you-shaped hole that only you can fill.

You are curious and interested. You inspire these things in others.  You have passion to share, even if you have no freakin clue what it is yet.  It’s there, waiting to explode out into the world. By virtue of you reading this post, I know this much about you.

Beijing bouddhist monk 2009 IMG 1486You have every right to be proud of yourself. You have every right to love who you are. I’m giving you permission.  In fact, you have an absolute responsibility to do both of these things.

You know that inner voice? That voice with its arms folded right now, shrugging and saying “Yeah, but so what?” or “This guy doesn’t even know me” or “What is this nutjob on about!” ?

That voice hates you. That voice desperately needs you to think that you don’t matter, that you’re not good enough, that you’re not really a part of the world, that when people say something nice about you they dont really mean it, or they don’t really know the real you, or whatever.  That way, that voice wins, and gets to be smug, and be right, and have control.

Here’s the secret.  I have a feeling you already know this.  That voice is a liar. All that stuff is 100% fiction.  Because you matter.  You have a place in the world that is uniquely yours.  Whether you’re out feeding the homeless or home on the couch watching TV, that you-shaped hole can only be filled by you. And look at you, you’re already doing it!

That very same voice inside my head has controlled me for a long time.  I’ve bought into it. I thought “Yeah, I’m smart, so what? I didn’t have anything to do with me being smart, it’s just how I am.”  That voice got to win. I don’t blame myself, nor do I think I’m a victim of it, it is simply a statement of fact. But now I’m writing this to you, because I’m geting the sneaking suspicion that what I’m saying in this letter is true. And that I need to tell that voice “Thanks for your input, but you’re wrong, and I don’t have to listen to you anymore.”  And that you do, too.

I know it’s easy to discard this letter as saccharine nonsense or empty words. People don’t tell each other that they matter very often.  Sure, it’s implied by a smile or a hug or a tweet or an IM or all that stuff that’s easy to file in a place where it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme.  I think this needs to change.

Here’s what I want you to do.  This is absolutely essential. Chances are, if I’ve communicated what I want to say effectively, there’s someone in your mind right now who you know that matters to you, and needs to read this.  I want you to pick up the phone, write them an email, meet them for dinner, mail them a letter or even send them a tweet and tell them strongly and directly “Hey, I wanted you to know that you matter to me.”  Don’t qualify it with a particular reason or accomplishment or what they’ve done for you. Just leave it at that, and mean it. If you’re on Twitter and feel comfortable doing so, consider using hashtag #youmatter.

Okay, so that’s what I wanted to make sure you knew.  Letter over.

With all possible love and admiration,

Jeremy Meyers

[this letter was inspired by several conversations had at and around Podcamp Boston, and by a few people who matter to me very much.]

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Billy Skye

No need to matter,

Mattering is for insecure people and losers. When you wake up in the morning with the unshakable conviction that you are best that there is ever going to be then mattering ceases to be an objective. I have no doubts that there are lots of people who have come and gone through my life. However to say that I changed their lives does not mean that it was for the better, there are for instance people who would have no wish to meet me a second time. There is no “You Shaped Hole” in my life I will not be bound. Others can make their own path, if they wish to be inspired by something they can’t attain that’s really their problem. No one’s ever had a freakin clue about anything that’s the whole point of life, strive to be. The human race won’t survive if there isn’t something to look to. By virtue of reading this reply you will realize that you know nothing of me that I do not permit you to know. I am not proud of myself, I simply know that things are the way they are because I wanted them to be that way. You cannot be without loving who you are. You can’t express outward love if there is no inner love. That’s not just in a sexual way either. Love is what binds you mind, body and spirit, when you get that right you’ll realize that there isn’t a whole lot that you can’t do. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole lot you shouldn’t try to do, for instance if you skydive without a parachute you’re on your own. That said it is possible, once at least. You are not in a position to give me permission to do anything, I’ll not be bound to you in such a way. Everyone has an inner voice, you can deny it all you want, you can suppress it and try to ignore it, but it’s there. Like almost everything there is a good and a bad. The trick is getting your inner self to agree with you outer self. Doing that you are always guaranteed to have at least one voice that will agree with you on any given topic. See above about love, do that first if you want to get control of anything else. Why is being a liar such a bad thing? If you lie to me and it stops me getting killed I think that it would be a good thing. Everyone has fantasies too, if your inner voice is making stuff up that’s fine however if you’re trying to act out what’s going on inside then you really, need help. I am not joking, its dangerous see a professional, there is nothing to be ashamed of with mental health, and it’s the same as visiting any other doctor. Ok so far I’ve not disregarded your letter, there is a difference between something being wrong and something being nonsense. Again you are of the mind that you can be telling me what to do, this isn’t the case and what may be essential for you isn’t an imperative for me. If you need to constantly affirm with those around you that they “matter” to you, then somewhere in your communications you’ve been lacking to such a degree that people can no longer remember who you are and what you mean to them or vice versa. I guess it could be that you are insecure and need reminding yourself. People need to talk and feel connected, we need that, humans can’t be alone, the best way of fixing that is being face to face. However no one should be in any doubt what so ever about who and what they are in a relational kind of way.

Billy Skye

Jeremy Meyers

I totally get what you’re saying here, Billy.  I think it’s understandable to take my intention with “you matter” as “your ego is important”, and perhaps I should have been more clear.

My intention (and this was awhile ago, before I became more well-versed) was to encourage people not to agree with the negative self-talk of the ego by taking a stand against it, rather than blindly agreeing subconsciously with it.  I’m not sure now that this was the best way to address it, but this letter was borne out of frustration and a need for release, and from the reaction, it seemed to resonate with quite a few folks and help them on the path a bit.

Tabbs

Thanks. I appreciate the bold lack of cynicism. A lot of people need to hear/read this. I’m going to try to spread it around…

Again, thanks.

Teresa Basich

So, back in high school I went to this 10-day church camp in support of one of my best friends. And, while most of it was completely miserable and utterly terrifying, the last day there ended up being a slightly life altering moment for me. In that last sermon or service or whatever the hell you call it, we talked about appreciation–how there’s not enough of it in the world. And when it was over we spent AT LEAST and hour and a half telling all these people at this camp who we’d just recently gotten to know all the things we thought were fantastically awesome about them and how much they’d touched us. Needless to say, lots of tears were shed, LOTS of hugs and happiness passed around.

Point being, it amazes me that we as a society spend so much time NOT telling people how important they are to us when it’s so incredibly obvious that without them we’d be lost. Maybe it’s pride? Maybe it’s just us taking our loved ones for granted? I dunno. What I do know is that it needs to change, and maybe this little letter here is just the way to start it.

You already know how much I appreciate this, but I have to say it here, again: This letter is amazingly honest and poignant and it’s just what the world needs right now. Thank you for writing it, for all of us who couldn’t. And…*you* matter to me. :)
.-= Teresa Basich´s last blog ..The Power of Love and Online Community =-.

Jason Falls

Well done, sir. You matter and thank you for this.
.-= Jason Falls´s last blog ..Building Community =-.

Inessa Skorodinsky

Thanks Jeremy for reminding us to say these simple things, to ourselves and to others. WE think it implies with what we do or how we do it, but there is a primeval magic in the WORDS. Words make things come to life. Besides, always good to say things today as if there is no tomorrow… Dear Jeremy – #YouMatter

SG

Why thanks, Jeremy!
I think how I live my life matters too.
I like to call it integrity.

However, sadly, that doesn’t put a roof over my head or feed my children.

Jeremy Meyers

Actually, living your life and doing your work with integrity DOES put a roof over your head and feed your children.

Zena Weist

was brought to your “pause moment” #youmatter post by @AmberCadabra. Amber had a great post yesterday on long conversations and taking stock in your relationships. Your post also weaves in the much needed “pause moment” for me to stop, reflect and taking stock in relationships through invested thought and action (a long conversation or an email or an actually phone call or a snail mail letter even.)

Thank you!
.-= Zena Weist´s last blog ..The Brand Advocate Social Web Style =-.

Billy Skye

No need to matter,

Mattering is for insecure people and losers. When you wake up in the morning with the unshakable conviction that you are best that there is ever going to be then mattering ceases to be an objective. I have no doubts that there are lots of people who have come and gone through my life. However to say that I changed their lives does not mean that it was for the better, there are for instance people who would have no wish to meet me a second time. There is no “You Shaped Hole” in my life I will not be bound. Others can make their own path, if they wish to be inspired by something they can’t attain that’s really their problem. No one’s ever had a freakin clue about anything that’s the whole point of life, strive to be. The human race won’t survive if there isn’t something to look to. By virtue of reading this reply you will realize that you know nothing of me that I do not permit you to know. I am not proud of myself, I simply know that things are the way they are because I wanted them to be that way. You cannot be without loving who you are. You can’t express outward love if there is no inner love. That’s not just in a sexual way either. Love is what binds you mind, body and spirit, when you get that right you’ll realize that there isn’t a whole lot that you can’t do. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole lot you shouldn’t try to do, for instance if you skydive without a parachute you’re on your own. That said it is possible, once at least. You are not in a position to give me permission to do anything, I’ll not be bound to you in such a way. Everyone has an inner voice, you can deny it all you want, you can suppress it and try to ignore it, but it’s there. Like almost everything there is a good and a bad. The trick is getting your inner self to agree with you outer self. Doing that you are always guaranteed to have at least one voice that will agree with you on any given topic. See above about love, do that first if you want to get control of anything else. Why is being a liar such a bad thing? If you lie to me and it stops me getting killed I think that it would be a good thing. Everyone has fantasies too, if your inner voice is making stuff up that’s fine however if you’re trying to act out what’s going on inside then you really, need help. I am not joking, its dangerous see a professional, there is nothing to be ashamed of with mental health, and it’s the same as visiting any other doctor. Ok so far I’ve not disregarded your letter, there is a difference between something being wrong and something being nonsense. Again you are of the mind that you can be telling me what to do, this isn’t the case and what may be essential for you isn’t an imperative for me. If you need to constantly affirm with those around you that they “matter” to you, then somewhere in your communications you’ve been lacking to such a degree that people can no longer remember who you are and what you mean to them or vice versa. I guess it could be that you are insecure and need reminding yourself. People need to talk and feel connected, we need that, humans can’t be alone, the best way of fixing that is being face to face. However no one should be in any doubt what so ever about who and what they are in a relational kind of way.

Billy Skye

[…] I realize that I addressed a bunch of this stuff in my “You Matter” post. I was considering revising it to take into account this new perspective, but I think its more […]

Tabbs

Thanks. I appreciate the bold lack of cynicism. A lot of people need to hear/read this. I’m going to try to spread it around…

Again, thanks.

Twitter Comment


Good post! #youmatter from @JeremyMeyers (the ripple effect) [link to post]

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@JeremyMeyers wrote a letter each of us should read: [link to post] It really was written for YOU.
#youmatter

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Have you told someone lately that they matter? Great post from @JeremyMeyers [link to post]

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If you only read 1 thing today… @jeremymeyers reminds us that everyone has value: [link to post]. (via @dariasteigman)

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If you only read 1 thing today… @jeremymeyers reminds us that everyone has value: [link to post].

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Teresa Basich

So, back in high school I went to this 10-day church camp in support of one of my best friends. And, while most of it was completely miserable and utterly terrifying, the last day there ended up being a slightly life altering moment for me. In that last sermon or service or whatever the hell you call it, we talked about appreciation–how there’s not enough of it in the world. And when it was over we spent AT LEAST and hour and a half telling all these people at this camp who we’d just recently gotten to know all the things we thought were fantastically awesome about them and how much they’d touched us. Needless to say, lots of tears were shed, LOTS of hugs and happiness passed around.

Point being, it amazes me that we as a society spend so much time NOT telling people how important they are to us when it’s so incredibly obvious that without them we’d be lost. Maybe it’s pride? Maybe it’s just us taking our loved ones for granted? I dunno. What I do know is that it needs to change, and maybe this little letter here is just the way to start it.

You already know how much I appreciate this, but I have to say it here, again: This letter is amazingly honest and poignant and it’s just what the world needs right now. Thank you for writing it, for all of us who couldn’t. And…*you* matter to me. :)
.-= Teresa Basich´s last blog ..The Power of Love and Online Community =-.

Jason Falls

Well done, sir. You matter and thank you for this.
.-= Jason Falls´s last blog ..Building Community =-.

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Wow! A MUST-READ: [link to post] #youmatter (via @ed). Must add it to this list: http://bit.ly/6l0mf

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Good stuff > Please read this. All of you. @JeremyMeyers said things you need to hear: [link to post] (via @AmberCadabra)

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RT @amydstephenson Something to never lose sight of: RT @JeremyMeyers NEW BLOG POSTED: Dear Reader: #YouMatter. @[link to post]

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Inessa Skorodinsky

Thanks Jeremy for reminding us to say these simple things, to ourselves and to others. WE think it implies with what we do or how we do it, but there is a primeval magic in the WORDS. Words make things come to life. Besides, always good to say things today as if there is no tomorrow… Dear Jeremy – #YouMatter

Twitter Comment


What a great read. RT @AmberCadabra: Please read this. All of you. @JeremyMeyers said things you need to hear: [link to post]

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SG

Why thanks, Jeremy!
I think how I live my life matters too.
I like to call it integrity.

However, sadly, that doesn’t put a roof over my head or feed my children.

Jeremy

Actually, living your life and doing your work with integrity DOES put a roof over your head and feed your children.

Zena Weist

was brought to your “pause moment” #youmatter post by @AmberCadabra. Amber had a great post yesterday on long conversations and taking stock in your relationships. Your post also weaves in the much needed “pause moment” for me to stop, reflect and taking stock in relationships through invested thought and action (a long conversation or an email or an actually phone call or a snail mail letter even.)

Thank you!
.-= Zena Weist´s last blog ..The Brand Advocate Social Web Style =-.

Twitter Comment


Great message ALWAYS! RT @AmberCadabra Please read this. All of you. @JeremyMeyers said things you need to hear: [link to post]

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awesome post by @jeremymyers in the form of a letter to us, to himself, reminding us who really matters. [link to post]

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@JeremyMeyers that was a nice gesture..

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Something to never lose sight of: RT @JeremyMeyers NEW BLOG POSTED: Dear Reader: #YouMatter. @[link to post]

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