Hey you! Yes – I’m talking to you. Don’t you know that you are the only you there is? You are unique. There has never been another person just like you, and there will never be another “you” in the future.
Because you are unique, you are special. You have a combination of abilities that no one else has. You have something to give society that no one else can give. You are extremely valuable!
It is this uniqueness that we Americans tapped in 1776 when we declared ourselves to be an independent nation. We insisted that every person have the opportunity to be all they can be. It is because so many of us developed our unique abilities that the United States of America became the greatest country in the world.
But in recent years we in America have made a very bad mistake in our value judgments. We have come to think that a person’s worth is based on what he or she has. A person who drives a BMW is thought to be valuable. The holder of a large stock portfolio is held in great respect. Those who own large amounts of real estate are deemed important.
What a person owns is meaningless. It is what they contribute to the society that makes them important. It is the entertainments provided by actors, musicians and athletes that make them important, not the millions they are paid for their efforts. It is the confidence a psychologist gives her clients that makes her important, not the art hinging on her office wall.
It is not only the big money makers who are valuable. The mechanic who keeps your car running is of great value. The sanitation worker who keeps your home free of trash is extremely valuable. The teacher who teaches your child to think is among the most valuable people of our society.
Those of the greatest value are those who develop their unique qualities and give their best to our culture. It is those who dare to be different, who find new and better ways of doing things. They are the ones who are able to make better use of the resources available to them.
You can be one of those innovators. If you develop your unique abilities and then use them to benefit society, you will become a V.I.P: A Very Important Person. When you find a better way of helping your neighbor you are important, no matter how much or little money you have. Even those with extensive handicaps can be of great value in the way they inspire those around them.
You don’t have to be a genius to be important. You do not have to design fast cars or write great poems. If you inspire one child to become all he or she can be, you have made your contribution. If you do your job, no matter how humble, and do it better every day, then you are a person of great value.
So don’t just sit there. Find out what you do best and start doing it. We were once a great country but we are losing out today because so many of us are not living up to our potential.
Let’s stop griping and start doing. You’ll be surprised how soon America can reclaim its rightful place as the greatest nation on earth.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/