You Don’t Need to Think to Be Valuable

Once you’ve come to the realization that you don’t need to think to exist, an inevitable follow-up question will arise: “So if I just exist without thinking from time to time, is that an okay thing to do?” The obvious answer is “Of course!” but it definitely won’t feel obvious at all, and it’ll be even harder to act on it.

We never question our innate human value as children. What’s to discuss? We’re here! We made it! Let’s have a grand old time! It is only once an ever-growing set of expectations and responsibilities is placed upon us by other people, usually in high school, that we start to associate living with delivering. “If I don’t do my homework, my teacher will be angry. If I don’t ace this test, my mom will be sad.” It only gets worse from there.

In The Comfort Book, Matt Haig makes a great point: You’d never ask a baby to deliver. What? Are you gonna throw it out the window if it doesn’t send you the slides by 4 PM? Of course not! Because despite being capable of absolutely nothing at all, babies are still humans – and humans have value by default. “Their value does not depend on external things like wealth or appearance or politics or popularity. It is the infinite value of a human life.”

That value never fades, “even as it becomes easier to forget it,” Haig writes. “We stay precisely as alive and precisely as human as we were the day we were born.” So no. You don’t need to think around the clock to keep proving your value. Not to society. Not to your parents. Not even to yourself. “The only thing we need is to exist.” On day one, that was enough – and it will always be enough.