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People matter. Within the circle of your existence, you have been given a “tribe” consisting of your family, your friends, your irritating neighbor whose dog barks 24/7, and the co-worker who borrows your “Best Person Alive!” coffee cup and leaves saliva marks on the lip.

Because of your unique relationship with each of these people, only you can reach them in the way you were designed to do so, and while yes, there are other neighbors who can smile stiffly at yours, there is no one who can take your place in the family setting, or within your friends’ hearts.

“But I’m a nobody,” you think sadly. “I’m not rich. I’m not famous. I’m not important. I’m not Oprah.”

I don’t know about 1 or 2, and yes, there’s only one #4, but never discount your importance as a human being: life is a gift, bestowed from above, and no life, including yours, is an accident. Even those people who were told that they are accidents were misnamed: they’re surprises, and we all love surprises.

Here’s a secret that some people, unfortunately, never learn — not because they’ve never heard it, but because they refuse to believe that the first part applies to them:

All people are ordinary.

And all people are extraordinary.

People are ordinary because they’re not gods; because they’re finite, limited in what they do and know, and destined to die some day. Oh, and they probably pay taxes, since along with death that’s one of the two certainties of life.

And they are extraordinary because they are unique, individual, one-of-a-kind, and irreplaceable. Each person’s place in the world is one that no one else can fulfill.

I know: it’s far easier to think we’re important when so many people tell us that we are — we long to be cosseted, catered to, admired, and showered with accolades, but think about it: if these fruits were so very sweet and satisfying, then why do so many of the people who enjoy them never have enough?

When a person has more money than he could spend in a lifetime, why does he need more?

When people shout and cheer and wave and applaud the diva of the day, how does she get through tomorrow, when someone else is at the front of the stage?

When we seek the love and admiration of all mankind, we are doomed to disappointment. But when we gather up that love and admiration and wrap it around the people in our lives, just because they’re ours, we gain a treasure that no money can buy, because nobody can purchase our place in our loved ones’ hearts.

People matter. And that includes you.

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Carolyn Henderson is a lifestyle writer who focuses on family, homeschooling, financial freedom, and 21st century Christianity. The co-owner of Steve Henderson Fine Art, Carolyn is a columnist for Fine Art Views, a writer for BeliefNet (Commonsense Christianity), and the creator of her personal blog, This Woman Writes.

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