Recently I watched a movie about a group of kids competing for the chance to have their voices recorded and sent into space through a NASA program. The contest wasn’t really the most important part of the movie, though a casual viewing might lead you to believe it was. More important to the characters and viewers alike was the way the kids grew in confidence and began believing their lives — their selves — were valuable.
Over the course of the movie, they transformed from kids (and some adults) who had so little self-worth that they were dismissive of and even angry at anyone who suggested who they were and what they did mattered to a bunch of free spirits shouting in a field, no longer caring who watched or what they thought.
With arms flung out and chins lifted up, they shouted to a sky full of stars: “I’m here! We’re here! Here I am! I’m HERE!”
Finally, after ninety minutes or so (and a lifetime, really) of being told in every way that
they were nobodies,
they were losers,
they didn’t matter,
they realized those were lies. And they slowly, together, began replacing those lies with the truth:
They were somebody who mattered.
They were winners simply by being themselves.
They mattered so much.
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I sobbed during that scene. My tender heart and weepy eyes can barely make it through an Olympic commercial or Disney movie without an emotional breakdown, so of course this moving moment got me.
How many times have I believed that I don’t matter? That nobody sees me? That I’m too weird or too poor or too big or too messy or too slow or too loud or too quiet? How many times, for how many years, have I believed that just maybe nobody would care or even notice if I stopped showing up or just ran away forever?
So many times, for so many years.
Maybe you’ve believed some of those things too. But those things that keep our heads down and our hearts heavy and our hope squashed? They are all lies! Not one bit is true.
Let’s talk about what is true instead. Join me for the rest of this article at (in)courage.