Okay, maybe I'm being overly dramatic. But the looming prospect of turning 50 has prompted some deep thinking on my part.
What I'm pondering is the fact that, as the world has come into the "information age," we've entered a very different era from any we've seen before. In many ways that's good. But in some ways that's not good at all.
The thing that's got me riled today is the evidence of what I've finally understood to be self-centered thinking on nearly everyone's part. And by everyone, I mean individual persons, public personalities, service providers, businesses, you name it.
It used to be that others thought of me, spoke to me, and referred to me as "Richella" or "Mrs. Parham" or "that red-headed lady" or something. Now, I feel as though I'm simply considered to be "one of"--
- one of your customers
- one of your followers
- one of your subscribers
- one of your readers
- one of your fans
- one of your contacts
- one of your clients
- one of your members
- one of your card holders
- in other words, one of your data pool.
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I'd love to be treated as if I'm somebody in my own right, not just one of many.
Wishful thinking or not, I've realized that I need start by correcting my own self-centered thinking. The value of the people in my life is not determined by their utility to me.
So if I've ever called you "one of my readers," I'm sorry. Please forgive me. You are an amazing person. You are a person of great value. You are important to God, who knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30). And you are important to me--because you are you, not because you are part of a group on which I can run analytics.
What do you think? Do you also feel a need to be treated as a person of intrinsic value? Or am I just getting to be grumpy in my advanced age?