Earlier this week I attended a performance by the Johnson School Peacemakers, an 80-person group consisting of all of the 3rd and 4th grade students at my son's elementary school.
During the performance, the kids did an impressive amount of singing, dancing, and speaking that they'd worked on for months. My favorite part, however, was a slideshow with photos of all the students simply being themselves: reading to siblings, playing sports, jumping, laughing.
In just a few minutes, I got to soak in snapshots of 80 different human lives, each one with its own unique energy, purpose, and story. It was clear that each child was valuable and worthy, not because of any special actions or accomplishments, but simply because they were.
I left with a deep sense of gratitude for the lives of those kids, and a reminder of my own value and worthiness, too. Because it is true for all of us.
I am looking forward to next month's Living Library event for similar reasons. We have over a dozen "human books" lined up, each with unique and valuable stories. The group includes a transgender teacher, a professional Santa Claus, someone who had a near-death experience, and so many more.
I hope you will come to the event if you can. I also hope that you will take a moment right now to appreciate the value that you bring, just in being alive. You have quirks and ideas, desires and fears, failures and greatness... and the world needs it all.