I can definitely say that my dad, Dan Farris, helped teach me that I mattered.
That each of us individuals matter. No matter what other people say, you’re not nothing.
People will tell you that, sometimes. They will tell you you’re wrong to hold the minority view on certain social issues (such as atheism, come to think of it). They’ll tell you you’re wrong to speak out at injustice, when everybody else is going along. That you’re on the wrong side of gender or race issues. That you’re not rich enough, or important enough, to be heard, or seen. That you should be silent and invisible because you’re nothing.
But you’re not nothing. You’re something.
And we somethings have enormous ability to act.
If you don’t already know that, you’ll be surprised at what you can do. If you become attached to an idea, if you care passionately about something, and start taking action, amazing things will start to take place.
If you care passionately, you’ll find there are other people out there who care just as much, but who haven’t had the seed around which their caring can crystallize. All you have to do is say “I’m going to do this!” and people will show up to help. All they were waiting for is someone to take the first step.
Dan didn’t exactly teach me all this in detail, but he did teach me that I mattered, that I was somebody worthy of loving and having in one’s life. He gave me a solid foundation in the idea that none of us is nothing. That we matter. That we are ourselves, and that’s okay.
Whatever you want to do, do it passionately, do it well, do it as if it matters. As if you matter.
If you care about something, some social goal, do something about it. Take the first act toward doing it.
Incredible things will happen.
This is post 8 of 12 of Blue Collar Atheist’s Blogathon in support of the Secular Student Alliance. Donate by clicking the “Contribute” link in the SSA ad over in the right column. Or go to the Secular Student Alliance directly.
Or just click this button (It’s the exact color of Pepto-Bismol, isn’t it? Makes me think it’s a way of saying “I’m sick of how powerful religion is in our society, and I want young people to be offered this other choice.”) :