by Tina VanSteenbergen
Truly. I’m 100% sure about that. You matter.
You are important to this world. You are an integral part of people’s lives. Someone’s life is different, is better, because of you. You matter to your friends, your family, your sisters, your brothers, your boss, your co-workers, your classmates, your professors, to me, to us. You matter.
When was the last time someone told you that? When was the last time someone took the time to tell you that you are important, that they’re glad that you are here?
I hope the answer to that question is “Very recently.” I fear that more often than not, in reality that’s just not the case.
We don’t say it enough. We don’t hear it enough. We don’t feel it enough.
So let me say it one more time: You matter.
Getting involved with sorority was one of the first times I remember truly feeling like I mattered. Not that no one had ever said that to me before, not that I’d been walking around feeling like I didn’t matter. I just had never really felt connected to a cause before, connected to a group of people that loved and supported me while they were counting on me. I never really knew that I mattered. Sorority helped me understand that to someone in that room, to one of my sisters, to my Founders even, I mattered.
That’s the beauty and power of sorority—we get to connect with other women, find our worth together. Help one another understand that we all matter.
But we don’t say it enough. We don’t hear it enough. We don’t feel it enough.
Can you think of someone in your chapter that doesn’t know that she matters? That maybe feels disconnected, separate, isolated, or invisible? Is there a woman without a big or little, without a committee role, without much engagement in the chapter? Is there a woman in your chapter or community that might not understand why her butt in that chair each week at that meeting matters to you?
I bet that you can. I bet we all can. And I bet we can fix it.
People need to know how much they matter to us—especially in our voluntary membership organizations. If she doesn’t know why she matters to you, to the chapter, then why would she continue to invest time, money and effort into the chapter? Mattering, belonging, connection, these are the reasons we join sorority. Which means that a lack of them can be the reason someone leaves sorority.
So, let’s fix it. Take out your phone now, and find the contact information for the woman you thought of just a moment ago. Open up a blank text message to her, and let her know just how important she is. Here’s how:
- Start with a statement of praise, a compliment for them including a specific characteristic or example.
- Tell her how much appreciate her and how valuable she is to the chapter.
- Ask her if she’d be willing to grab coffee with you next week or before everyone leaves for the summer.
“Sherri, I love how helpful you are at the end of chapter, cleaning up garbage and putting chairs away. You’re so helpful, and I’m really grateful for you. I’d love to grab coffee with you this week to catch up before summer starts. When are you free?”
Sure, you could just look at someone and say, “You matter to me.” But how much more powerful would it be to send (or receive) a text message like that?
Each one of you matters. She matters, and whether or not she knows it is up to you. Help be the person that reminds her today, reminds all of your sisters today, how much they matter to you.