There is much said in this day of age of doing Big Things, of Living Your Best Life, of Being the Best and Most Successful You. It often involves things like being Well-Known and (usually) Rich. Because to succeed, everyone needs to know your name and your face, and you need All the Things, right? Right?
But then Jeff and I are watching the movie Super 8, and the following bit of dialogue straightened my spine. It comes from the movie’s protagonist Joe Lamb, a young teen who lost his mother not even a year prior, while he is watching a family movie with a friend:
“She used to look at me … this way, like really look … and I just knew I was there … that I existed.”
Since then, I’ve found myself thinking of times I’ve wanted to be seen and to be known to exist, to have this existence matter. Not for fame or fortune. Just to matter to those who matter. Because I think at one time or another, we’ve all felt invisible.
So those times when I have been seen, when I have been known if only for that moment? They have stayed in my heart. As have the times where I’ve been able to truly see others, to witness that spark in their eyes when they know they’ve been seen, they are there and they exist and they matter. Those are the best moments, I think. To be able to be that for someone else, that someone who is seeing because then, in a really neat way, I am also seen.
It’s not being known the world over, about looks or material possessions or any of the other measuring rods we so often use for success. It’s about the day-to-day connections we make, the people we are able to help in the seemingly smallest of ways that so often matter the most. It's about seeing and being seen in a way that matters, in a way that reminds us we are here and we matter.