Make people understand that they matter. Be a mirror to everyone you encounter, allowing them to look at you and see their own self-worth reflected back at them.
Be the person who can look someone in the eye and say, in one way or another, I see you.
It’s so simple, so easy. It costs nothing. Nothing more than tearing your eyes away from whatever is distracting you long enough to let another person know that their existence on this earth is not unnoticed. That they are valid. That what they have to say matters. That they matter. That you are sitting here, listening to them.
That they are not alone.
Be the person who brings brightness to everyone around them. Not because you have to be the funniest, or the most beautiful, or the most intelligent person in the room. Not because you can offer them fame or success or entertainment for a minute. No one cares about that. What people care about, and what they remember – as Maya Angelou once reflected – is how you make them feel.
And making people feel like they are worth something is so much easier than we think. It doesn’t require power, or wealth, or spoiling them rotten with gifts. What it requires is simply making them feel like a person. Like you care about what they think and you care about how they interpret the world. It’s about letting them know that you care if they’re happy, if they’re sad, if they’re lost, if they feel invisible or forgotten or unloved.
It’s letting them know that you care that they’re there. It’s letting them know that you care that they’re okay.
It’s looking them in the eye and hanging onto their words like they have something to teach you, because they do. Because everyone’s been through something, and everyone has something to teach you.
We’re all focused on our own individual happiness. That’s the kind of world we live in. That’s okay, sometimes. It’s okay to search for your own fulfillment. To aim for the path that allows you to explore what it truly means to feel joy in the short existence you have here.
But sometimes in the quest for our own happiness, we forget that our own joy can very much come from making someone else feel seen.
It is, after all, the easiest way to be seen ourselves.