Inspiration is in the Cards: The You Matter Marathon

by  Paula Kiger  |  Light Your World
Inspiration is in the Cards: The You Matter Marathon

“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~ Hafiz of Shiraz

A story from my early adulthood:

Someone I loved, one of the first young men I had felt intensely about, had broken up with me in a rather spectacular and dramatic (to me) way. Whether or not his delivery was spectacular and dramatic, the result was that I was spectacularly and dramatically devastated. I was even more devastated when my mom said, “it doesn’t matter.”

Being a mom myself now, I have a different perspective on where she was coming from. She knew that it was likely that 30 years later I would look back on the incident as less spectacular and dramatic than it was at the time. (For the record, he and I are the best of friends today.) The problem was: the sequence of events may not have mattered for the long term but at that moment, splayed out on her bed in hysterics, the immediate issue was that I felt that I did not matter.

We All Want to Know We Matter

Cheryl Rice, creator of the You Matter Marathon, has discovered through personal experience that there is magic in connecting with friends, family, and strangers by simply sharing one card stating two words: YOU MATTER. This brief video demonstrates her vision.

Cheryl has created the You Matter Marathon, during which people all around the globe will each commit to distributing one “You Matter” card each day in November. The current participant count is up to 6000 people in 26 countries sharing 100,000+ cards.

The Lead Change Community Discusses How to Spread the You Matter Message

I asked around among friends, colleagues, strangers, and anyone with an opinion to find out what makes them feel they matter, or how they like to share a “you matter” message with those in their lives.

Hugs and other gestures of reassurance were popular. “Spending time together” also garnered a vote. And as we now know from this post, another option is giving someone a “You Matter” card.

More Thoughts On Mattering

I looked back at the writing of our Lead Change community contributors and a few passages stood out.

In his post, Rewards and Recognition Done Right, Scott Mautz reminded: “Odds are you will never hear people complaining that they are receiving too much recognition.”

I am positive the two words and nine letters that make up the phrase “You Matter” are not too much recognition!

In Creating a Chain Reaction of Goodness, a post exploring instances when reaching out can be harder than walking away, Jane Perdue wrote, “Here’s to replacing my wagging finger with grace, aiming for a reaction chain of goodness.”

We would all do well to calm down our wagging fingers and be catalysts for simultaneous chains of goodness during the month of November.

Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, wrote of a visit she and her leadership team made to new restaurants in Indianapolis. She described the happy tears in employees’ eyes as they were recognized for various achievements such as “keeping the dining room sparkling.” She shared, “recognizing people’s contributions is a way to tell them that you care.”

People need to know bosses (and others) care. It makes them want to keep contributing and doing their highest quality work.

To Get Involved in the You Matter Marathon

  • Sign up by clicking here.
  • Follow the You Matter Marathon via creator Cheryl Rice on Twitter here.
  • Follow the You Matter Marathon via creator Cheryl Rice on Facebook here.
  • Read more about the You Matter Marathon from Weaving Influence here and here.


Note: I loved  7 Things to Realize When You Think You Don’t Matter from Tiny Buddha. It helped me frame my thinking and its opening quote seemed perfect for this post too.

Who in your world needs to know “you matter”? Tell me about them in the comments!

About The Author

Articles By paula-kiger
Paula worked for almost twenty years for Florida’s State Child Health Insurance Program. She is currently doing freelance work in the communications industry. Her Twitter bio describes her best: wife of one, mom of two, friend of many.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Leanne  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

I’ve seen quite a bit of the “You Matter” info coming out in various blogs. It’s nice to know that it’s being heard and it will make a difference. It’s so important to affirm people and let them know they are valued.

Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen)  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

I agree! So important to deliberately spread a good message! Thanks for your comment.

Ann Van Eron  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

What a great mission and goal. Both the person receiving the message and the one giving win. Given that emotions are contagious, there is likely to be a ripple effect. Congratulations on the project!

Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen)  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

I agree, Ann! Thanks for commenting. :-)

Jane  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

This is one of the most meaningful, and easy ways to sincerely pour joy into others. It could take 5 seconds or 5 minutes, but the effects are lasting. In our town in Michigan last year someone started a You’re Awesome campaign, but it only lasted one day. That’s all it was supposed to last. It was fun to watch it on the news. This You Matter Marathon has potential to change lives. You never know what one spark of kindness will ignite. btw – You mom was likely trying to minimize your hurt but as with how fear affects us, we all have our own reality of what matters.

Paula Kiger (Admin)  |  14 Oct 2016  |  Reply

Thank you, Jane. And thank you for writing your own post about the You Matter Marathon. I appreciate your giving spirit!

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