Crisis Of Mattering: I See (Spiritually) Dead People

(30 August 2009 - ATLANTA, GA) :: In my quest to get my book published and out in the national conversation, I have been reminded of a conceptual thread critical to my task: convincing men of all stripes that “mattering” is more important than almost anything we wrestle with.

I don’t mean the consensus view of mattering, mind you - “that issue matters to me” - I mean the way we feel, belong and love each other. And, more importantly, ourselves. (The latter informs the former.) I’ve recently seen the underbelly of mattering - bearing witness to a deeply flawed, emotional ghost of someone as opposed to his real, truer, higher self - and seeing that pointed lack motivated me to sort some of it out with this post.

Too often, I see people who simply forget that we have but one chance in this lifetime to “make it right” - and love, above all, should never be wrapped in (or cursed by) a shroud of ambivalence. Don’t seek the kindness of strangers when you yourself are a stranger to kindness. Walk with people, not through them. Carry your heart with the same grace you’d want it received.

Why? T.S. Elliott got it right:

"To be of importance to others is to be alive.”

In other words, who and what we are to each other - our inner and outer mattering - is tantamount to a peaceful coexistence. To understand. To connect. To stay. To evolve. Love is not a currency we spend or earn, it is a means and method through which we appreciate, know, realize.

So I sit at my desk knowing I’m an imperfect being living in an imperfect world, doing my part to make it a few clicks better every day. If we wake up to the truth of how we matter each day, joy will rise with us, and we’ll stop seeing ghosts.

Photo: “mattering,” France, August 2009, a spontaneous, unmanaged and unstaged split-screen composition featuring a happy Stuey in a window reflection.

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