"At the end of the day, people just want to be valued and heard" - Sonya Teclai
At the core of all the world's major religions is a teaching that every single human life is sacred. In the Christian tradition, this is known as the 'sanctity of life', referring to a fundamental belief that 'every single life is holy'. As Pope Francis puts it, we ought to be 'sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life...'
One of our most fundamental human needs - beyond our fundamental physiological and safety needs, such as food to eat and a safe place to sleep - is our need to be seen, valued and heard. As Abraham Maslow argued in his 'Theory of Human Motivation', human beings have a need for the following: belongingness, love, esteem and self-actualisation. And so, in order to find true fulfilment and flourishing in life, it is essential that we feel valued and heard.
If you want to help someone, the best thing you can do is make sure that they feel valued and heard. That means respecting them, listening to them, and unconditionally accepting them without judgment or 'conditions of worth' (where you say you'll only like / approve of / love someone if they act in a certain way or achieve certain things). We need to make it our mission to make every single person we meet feel valued, appreciated, and important. We need to really see them, hear them, and give our full attention to them.
So many conflicts and so much suffering could be solved overnight if we all made it our mission to make every single person we meet feel valued and heard. Just by simply listening to someone, or letting them know that they are valued and appreciated, you can absolutely transform their life. In a society of constant comparison and competition, reminding someone that they are valid and valued is such a powerful thing to do.
If you want to make someone's day and make sure they're doing okay, then make sure they feel valued and heard. Remind them that they are enough, just as they are. Give them your full attention when they speak and make it your mission to unconditionally accept who they authentically are. Show them how much their life and contribution to society is valued. Show them you have a genuine interest and concern in how they're doing and what's going on in their life. This is such a simple - and yet enormously powerful - act of compassion and love.
Always remember that, at the end of the day, people just want to be valued and heard. So show up, listen, and make sure the people interact with feel both valued and heard. And - just as importantly - always remember that you are valued as well! Your life, your voice, and your contribution matters. Your life is precious and your truth is powerful! Never forget that!
I'll be back tomorrow with another Quote for the Day. Until then, have a great day!
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