Today there is a lot of discussion about the correctness of a few popular social media hashtags. Three of the current most-popular contenders are good, but none are what Americans truly need right now; they are not what we need to hear right now, need to see right now. But if not these, which one?
The most Christian, the most American, and the best hashtag has not been commonly seen or used yet. The very loving, very simple, very correct, very American, very best version of this hashtag should always have been:
#YourLifeMatters. Because your life matters.
Let me say that once again: The proper viral hashtag should have been #YourLifeMatters all along. This true and correct hashtag uses the exalted English word—that blessed pronoun that can mean either you the sovereign individual or you the crowd longing for a return to a chivalrous justice—that when we speak of whomsoever’s life matters, we speak through the inspiration of a reverential spirit. When we say #YourLifeMatters we speak to each person neither of something abstract about ourselves, nor of a group to which we may or may not belong. We meet each person where they are, and we affirm to each that #YourLifeMatters. It helps each of us to become more selfless. It takes us away from ourselves and places the focus where it is needed, where it belongs right now in this moment in history.
Very importantly, promulgating #YourLifeMatters for your own part will remind you to follow that part of the greatest commandment: To love others as you love yourself. And to each recipient of that message that #YourLifeMatters: Each person will receive that most personal message, and what follows will be that warm feeling that there is someone who understands; a certainty of camaraderie; knowledge of a society of justice and liberty. Every person will receive an empowering message that reminds that they are not alone in this struggle we call life. #YourLifeMatters is a simple message that transmits strength to endure, patience to gain wisdom; light and hope to keep spirits afloat in and through difficult times.
But how will anyone learn that #YourLifeMatters? How will that one person who needs to hear it receive it? It depends on one person: You.
I need you. I need you to show that one person that needs to hear this message by telling that silently hurting someone that #YourLifeMatters. I need you to assuage the guilt or sorrow of that wonderful person and remind him or remind her that #YourLifeMatters. It’s up to you. Can I count on you to be the bearer of that light? Will you spread the word that #YourLifeMatters?
I offer you a challenge to do it!
Take the #YourLifeMatters challenge with me!
Walk up to people. Look each person in the eye and say the words of the hashtag out loud. Mean those words when you say them. Speak them as an oath. Do not swear, but simply let your spoken words be true. Hold your hands out, palms upward toward your audience in a gesture of sincerity, friendship, and kindness. Let your body language match your words. There is no need to touch anyone right now. For right now in this moment in history it will be enough to say those words and to have them heard.
Start the challenge by first telling those closest to you that #YourLifeMatters. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell the people who matter to you moment by moment, day by day, year in and year out. Realize that this telling will be easy—don’t allow yourself to settle for just that which can be quickly accomplished and easily forgotten, but don’t skip over your loved ones.
Be bold. Tell others #YourLifeMatters. Tell strangers. Above all, tell it to those souls who so desperately need to hear. Even if they initially do not want to hear it from you; tell them, affirm for them that #YourLifeMatters. This will be the tough part of the challenge, but this will be the most rewarding part. This is the part that makes a difference. This is the part that changes the world for good. For good.
Post #YourLifeMatters boldly on your own social media. Post it as a comment for your friends. Reply with it in comments. Sent it via direct message, text, e-mail, or legacy methods. Make sure you tell each of your contacts that #YourLifeMatters. This keeps the fires lit and helps these very necessary words spread to ensure that that person who most needs to hear it or see it receives it and is reminded of that which is so important: #YourLifeMatters.
By reminding everyone that #YourLifeMatters, you will feed that part of your soul that yearns to do good unto others, that needs to walk in the paths of righteousness, that aches to follow the highest and noblest example, that yearns to compel others to do better through the discipline of love. High or low, light or dark, left or right; tell each person that #YourLifeMatters. And you will be the change that you have sought all along.
Finally, in the peace of your solitude, make certain once in awhile that you look in the mirror and tell the doppelgänger looking back at you that #YourLifeMatters, too.
#YourLifeMatters: For justice, for peace, for liberty, for family, for friends, for the good of this world, and for that which lies beyond. #YourLifeMatters.