This past month I was called in for jury selection. It was a trial that I had no desire to be a part of and while the rational part of me was desperately hoping that I would not be selected, a crazy, little girl part of me was bouncing up and down, waving her hand and squealing, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Thankfully, she confined herself to my head and did not make a spectacle in the courtroom. But I found it interesting, in a disturbing way, that part of me was still so desperate for validation that I wanted to be chosen just for the sake of being chosen, no matter what the consequences of that choice might be. And I was not the only one. There were others that I observed who, beneath their calm exteriors, exhibited telltale signs of the same desperate fervor I felt stirring within myself.
I was not chosen, much to my relief—and disappointment. It reminded me of elementary school where we were lined up and two lucky kids were selected to choose teams. You stood there, hopeful that you would be chosen quickly, terrified that you would be the last one standing in that line. Your entire self-worth was tied up in not being that last, lonely soul. Yet, someone was always last. It was the nature of the process and, in reality, said nothing about the worth of that soul. But I have to wonder, how many of us are still figuratively standing in that line, waiting to be “chosen,” to have someone else reassure us that we are of worth?
Until that moment in the courtroom, I would not have thought that I was still standing in that line. Now, I realize that it has been subconsciously driving me all along. No more. None of us needs another person to make us important or special. We are each of us unique. Like pieces in a puzzle, we all have our special part to play, and without us the picture will never be complete. We may not be an edge piece, or part of the focal point of the picture. We may simply be a piece of sky or leafy tree, but when we are missing, our absence is felt. And if we are the last one chosen, so much the better. Then we will be the one that makes the picture whole and that is important.
“What a man really wants is already within him; but he still wanders here and there in search of it.” –Rāma Krishna