I was scanning through my phone today, looking to see if I had the number of a contact for work. Although my phone is my personal piece of property, I use it for work purposes on a frequent basis. Those who know me, I’m very attached to my phone, and have been ever since I had my first cell phone, ten years ago. Luckily, AT&T has recognized my constant use (and the large amount of money I’ve given them over the last few years) and voluntarily upgraded my phone plan to the point where I don’t have to worry about who I call or for how long anymore. Anyway, I was browsing through my phone when I thought to myself, “who are all these people in my phone?” Now I know this is a rhetorical question, especially since it was directed toward myself, but it got me thinking.
I scanned through the 221 names in my phone’s contact list, carefully assessing who I have and have not spoken to in some time, who was for work, and who I contact regularly. This assessment spawned the question, “do these 221 people really matter in your life?”
That in itself is an interesting question. I scrolled through again, and I carefully thought about each name as it passed by on the screen. If I were to die today, would this person even notice? How would it affect them? Would it at all? Deep questions with deep and less than deep answers for each of the 221 names on that list. On the contrary, I asked myself the same question about many of them. How would it affect me if they passed?
The bottom line is, who really matters in your life? Names are names. Names in your phone are just associations to ten digit numbers. I’m constantly in wonder as to what impact I have on others’ lives and what their reaction would be if one day I wasn’t around. Positively and negatively, I think I’d be surprised by various people’s reactions. You can phrase this any way you want; who would show up at your funeral? Who is there for you when you need it most? 221 isn’t a small number of people to have grouped together, but in the end I think a small fraction of that 221 would really notice.