How to become important

Man in bow tie and suspendersWe all want to feel important. Part of it is a human need to matter and to feel like we’re doing something of value with our lives. Another part of it is our media-driven culture where some believe that if you’re not famous, you don’t exist. That part has led people to do terrible things to gain notoriety. If you are one of those people who needs attention to feel valued, this post isn’t for you.

But if you want to matter and do something of value, there’s an easy way to become important: help someone else.

It doesn’t take much to make a big difference. Donate your old clothes to a charity thrift store. Spend the afternoon in a community clean-up project. Or just listen to someone talk out her problems. These things don’t take much of your time, but the impact can last a person’s lifetime.

Arianna Stern with panda dollThroughout the year, we have opportunities when we can help others. October 7 is World Cerebral Palsy Day. Cerebral palsy affects 17 million people around the world, including my granddaughter, Arianna. She is smart, cheerful, and as adorable as can be. We see her making progress every day, and she has a great future ahead of her. People who have cerebral palsy have gone on to do incredible things, like 8-year-old Bailey Matthews who completed a triathlon. Geri Jewell and RJ Mitte have successful acting careers. People with all degrees of cerebral palsy can live productive and fulfilling lives.

You can help them by supporting organizations like United Cerebral Palsy. This organization provides support services and advocacy for people with cerebral palsy. World Cerebral Palsy Day builds awareness and gives us the opportunity to give people with cerebral palsy the tools they need to become successful.

Donate, volunteer, do anything that can help others. In doing so, you will become important in meaningful, valuable ways.