Do the numerous incidents of violence and aggression that scream for attention, make you stop to think about the value of life? Have we become so familiar with the loss of life that we fail to appreciate its beauty and vitality?

There may be moments in this fast-paced materialistic world, where we feel insignificant, unloved, unworthy and a sense of meaninglessness. With all that is going on around us, the stress that surrounds us, we forget to recognize – let alone be grateful for – the aspects of life we take so much for granted.

I believe that nothing can truly explain the gift of life better than the miracle of childbirth. A tiny action – the fusing of two miniscule cells and the emergence of life! The entire flawlessly sequenced process of development during pregnancy never ceases to amaze me – how each body part is so perfectly formed, how each feature is perfectly set in place, how each organ perfectly functions and within a mere nine months, amid screams of joy and pain – a new life enters the world.

This cannot but make me feel a renewed respect for life. Almost half of the fertilized eggs do not implant themselves in the mother’s womb and foetuses with life-threatening defects are spontaneously aborted. If you and I were moulded and formed with so much care and excellence even before we breathed the air of this world, then it just goes to show that each one of us is truly important. Among the million things that could go wrong, you and I have been given the opportunity of living life and something so precious, how can anyone throw it away, cast it aside as if it does not mean a thing?

If you need more proof about the significance of your life, here it is: even before you were born, you have had an impact on the people around you and have played an important role in shaping the lives of your immediate family. You never realize how as a baby, you have brightened the hearts of so many with your innocent smile and happy coos! You probably would not know how much joy you gave when you said your first words and took your first steps. As you grew up, you would have felt your friends influencing you, but did you realize how much you have influenced them? Every single person you have an interaction with, or merely smile at, you have caused a tiny ripple of change in the pattern of life.

You are an essential part in the circle of life. Just like on a chess board, we all cannot be queens, making sweeping dramatic movements that have visible ramifications in society; but we each have our own specific roles to play – be it as a bishop, knight, castle or pawn – without any of which, the game would be incomplete. Embrace your life and the role you play in society, for whether or not you know it, the world truly cannot do without you!

From time to time, being human, we may lapse into questioning our existence and asking ourselves what use we are to the world. When the grey clouds blur your vision of the meaning of your life, do something for someone else. Leave a caring note for someone who is ill, give a kind word to one in need, gift someone something that they want, spend some time with the elderly or children, give of yourself to others – in terms of time, energy and resources – little actions, there is no call for being another Mother Theresa! Seeing a smile on another’s face and knowing that you contributed towards it is satisfying enough to bring out the sun and put your life’s meaning into perspective J

Love yourself as you are and be yourself. There is always room for improvement and you can definitely work on becoming better, but the present ‘you’ needs love and respect from none other than yourself. You do not need others to tell you that you are a nice person – you are a child of the universe, created for a purpose (trust me, the universe would not have invested so much in you, so many years in you, for no reason at all!). Even if the purpose is not clear right now, “no doubt the universe is unfolding itself as it should…” Live each day to the fullest, enrich your experiences, love like there is no tomorrow and make the best use of this lifetime – you live only once and the power to determine how you live, lies in your hands!