Have you ever been sitting with a friend, trying to make a decision on anything, from where to go, which movie to watch, what to eat, what to wear, …anything, and their comment to you was “Oh, it doesn’t matter…”? Does that statement sound familiar? Maybe you can remember saying it yourself? We’ve all said it at one point or another in our lives but have we taken the time to understand what that ready-made reply really means?
“It doesn’t matter”. Really? “It” doesn’t matter?
I’ve contemplated the essence of this statement many times, turning it over and over and upside down, backwards and forwards, philosophizing to the point of exhaustion and I have come to the conclusion that not only does “it matter”, but EVERY thing matters…to someone at some point.
I realize that “everything” is a pretty broad topic and understanding how it all matters might seem a little overwhelming, overwhelming that is, until we can find a correlation between ourselves and the world outside of ourselves. Once we can see our connection to life and feel our kinship to other beings, we begin to understand such phrases as “I am my brother’s keeper” and “paths are many, truth is one”. In this respect, “everything matters” takes on a whole new understanding.
For example, does it matter that I sit up straight or slouch in my chair? Does it matter if my sister eats green beans or peas? And what about chocolate, does it matter if I eat dark chocolate or milk chocolate? What about you? Does it matter if you or your partner chooses the restaurant this time? Does it matter who pays the bill?
For myself, the choice between slouching or sitting up straight makes the difference in my posture and my long-term health. Because I am a health fanatic, the choice I make to sit up straight definitely matters. Sitting up straight now assumes I will be enjoying strong healthy bones and a healthy back as I age. It may not mean as much to someone else but it matters to me. Healthy aging ensures I will not be a burden on someone else.
Eating green beans verses peas is a very big issue for my sister. Green beans are her favorite vegetable. She has disliked peas ever since she was a little girl, so I would say that it definitely matters to her, the choice between green beans or peas.
Let’s consider chocolate. How could it possibly matter if I eat dark or milk chocolate as long as I am eating chocolate? Right? The fact is dark chocolate has healing properties called polyphenols with antioxidants that boost my immune system if eaten in moderation. On the other hand, milk chocolate is just another sugary “candy” and doesn’t have much if any healing abilities. Because health is of great importance to me, my chocolate choice matters! Someone else might choose milk chocolate for its great creamy taste and that matters to them.
Now it’s your turn. Does it matter who chooses the restaurant? I bet you’re shaking your head, wondering why would it matter who picks where you will go out? “It’s no big deal,” you say. Perhaps, but it IS a big deal to the person who has a craving for gourmet pizza while everyone else in their group wants sushi. It could matter even more to the person who has a challenge making a decision and always defers to someone else, feeling like they never get what they want. We’ve all sat in the car and said “it doesn’t matter” when our friend or spouse asked where we wanted to go for dinner and then we wished we would have been brave enough to request that little Italian bistro downtown with the red checkered table cloths, great cabernet and chocolate cannoli.
Think about how you felt when you deferred your choice to the other person. What happened? Did you secretly wish you could think of a better place to go than what your companion suggested? Did you feel relief that you didn’t have to make a decision? Was your friend really happy they got to choose their favorite restaurant, and that in turn, made you feel good? One small choice affected everyone. It all mattered to someone.
All of these questions lead to my thought that everything matters, from the biggest decision you’ve ever made in your life to the most involuntary action of your beating heart. Each event evokes a level of consciousness in us. Even those off-color jokes or off-handed compliments that make you raise an eyebrow and ask yourself “what just happened” make a difference. They matter because they create change, no matter how large or small and change creates growth. With every thought, word, or action, a reaction is established and thus, it creates change in everything. It is said that affecting one molecule can change the course of existence.
How can one tiny little molecule matter in the larger scheme of life? If you consider that everything is energy in varying degrees of density then you can see how we are all affected by this mysterious and powerful source that connects everyone. Everything, everywhere, at any time, matters to all of us. Huh?! In the words of our ancient teachers, we are all one.
Quantum physicists are just beginning to understand the correlations between thoughts, prayer, meditation, physical movement and manifestation. This is a concept that many spiritual seekers have known throughout the ages. Thoughts are things and they matter. What we say and how we say it matters. Taking action matters. Taking no action matters. Think about those times when you thought of your best friend and she called JUST as you were thinking of her. Did your thoughts about her cause her to call? Who can say for sure, but your thoughts and her call mattered.
How about that great advertising job you have, did it matter that you made the effort to apply for the ad specialist job instead of the mail clerk? Of course it did. Your focus on the specialist position, your education in that forum, your desire for the job and the connection you made with your interviewer all conspired for you to get the job. That matters not only to you, but also to the company you work for, your co-workers, your boss, family, friends. In short, it matters to everyone!
The point I’m trying to make is that there is a consequence in every thought, word, and action we take and in that consequence lays a value and a reaction, no matter how small. The fact that something, anything has changed because of something we thought or did means energy has adjusted itself to form matter which is a manifestation of that thought or action. In effect, something that matters to someone or something affects the whole universe.
To quote Albert Einstein’s third law of motion, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In other words, if I offer to mow my neighbor’s lawn because he is too busy at work, he may feel gratitude for my action, which puts him in a better mood to deal with his stress. Because he feels less stressed for not having to mow the lawn, he in turn buys lunch for his assistant who is working overtime to help him. His assistant, appreciating her boss’ kindness feels better about her job, which makes her put more effort into her work. This also takes more stress off her boss (my neighbor). At this point, the assistant goes home to her family and is much more supportive and kind to them. They in turn, pass along the kindness they were given. When my neighbor comes home, he brings me dinner and I don’t have to cook which saves me time and makes me feel good. Thus, I too pass along my original act of kindness to my neighbor.
As you can see, one action created a myriad of reactions, all of which mattered to the people involved. Forces result from interactions and those interactions might be something as formless as a thought or as forceful as nature’s most ferocious windstorm. Even Mother Nature acknowledges that everything matters. She will create extreme heat to create a spark in a dying forest and then fan the flames with a gust of wind to start a fire, which then burns the dead trees to the ground. Everything is affected in that ecosystem by that one little spark. That first wave of heat mattered to everything in that charred forest. As well, that same heat wave matters to the new life emerging from the charred remains of the burnt timberland.
You see, there isn’t one thought, one word, one action that goes unnoticed by anything in this energy field we call earth. Everything matters to everything whether we consciously recognize it or not. So, the next time you catch yourself thinking “it doesn’t matter”, ask yourself what that really means and find out what really matters to you. You just might find out…
--Bliss Wood ©