One of the most difficult
and important need to manage
is our need to matter.
It is an existential need
that taps directly into our sense of self-worth.
Few are willing to admit to this need being a major driver.
Some admit to this in a roundabout way
by saying “I’m going to prove them wrong,”
which is a response to people who violated our need to matter.
Most will brush off the existence of this need
by emphasizing other needs
such as the need to contribute,
which is deemed more “altruistic,”
thus more acceptable and in alignment
with our desire to retain a self-image
of a “good” person.
Our need to matter
can serve as a powerful motivator to achieve something,
because achieving that thing may seem like the way to matter,
thus empowering us to persevere in the most difficult of times.
At the same time,
it can also blind us to behaviors that conspire against us.
Behaviors that, in hindsight, were excessive.
Behaviors we later regret.
Behaviors that may even cost us our lives
or lead to the demise of everything we’ve worked hard to build.
Our need to matter is a double-edged sword.
May we manage it
and manage well.
He does what he does,
for the good of others.
Just as parents,
unintentionally hurt others,
while merely trying to solve these others’ problems,
so does he.
In his pursuit to fulfill his need
he also hyper-empathizes
and assumes that they, too, desire
to fulfill this need.
This is a fallacy.
To reckon with this fallacy
and to connect with the present need of humanity,
he has to see them in the eyes.
He has to be willing to realize his empathy directly,
not through imagination,
but through conversation,
which he never does.
Why would he?
After all, he cares.
He has good intentions.
Many of us think that’s enough.
Why would he think different?
We experience tension
when there’s a conflict
between what we expect or need
VS what we have
when we take responsibility
Say we expect computers
to be more usable.
We begin to design
the moment we take responsibility
We don’t always design, though.
we push responsibility
This is normal.
Especially when tension
If we wish to design
may we attend to our pain
Before it becomes
an untreated wound.
A wound that can be irritated
with such a low threshold
that we end up spending
too much of our time blaming
instead of designing.