Threats to mattering


The experience of mattering promotes health and happiness, but it also prevents personal devaluation, relational disconnection, work disengagement, and community disintegration.

These four problems define the crisis of our time; the crisis of not mattering, or mattering only to ourselves. Devaluation, disconnection, disengagement, and disintegration of the social fabric – the four D’s — can be seen everywhere, and their consequences are devastating, for individuals and the community as a whole.

Too little personal worth results in the high prevalence of depression we are currently witnessing around the world. Too much personal worth results in the narcissism epidemic that has been well documented.

Disconnection is seen in high levels of isolation, loneliness, relational breakdowns and extramarital affairs.

The costs of work disengagement in the United States alone approximate $ 500 billion.

Declining social capital and increasing inequality and segregation point to community disintegration.

The four D’s stem from deficits or distortions of mattering. Countries, communities, and corporations that take mattering seriously are healthier and happier. We ignore mattering at our own peril. It is time we built relationships, workplaces, and communities where everybody matters, and not just those who enjoy privilege and seek to perpetuate the status quo.


Photo of Isaac
posted by Isaac Prilleltensky