"I am not important."
That was the astounding cry of a recent caller to my radio show. She is a woman who put her career aside after she married so that she could make her house a home, raise her children, and be a good wife to her lucky husband.
It was distressing to hear a woman say that her life has no value because she is not "famous or successful." I explained that her children will always cherish her love, devotion, kindness, commitment, sweetness, fun, and sensitivity.
Then I related a story to her of one person in my life who is centrally important to the building of my character. It is a person I never met, my maternal aunt, Lucia.
During World War II, Lucia and my mother were sisters in the small town of Gorizia on the border of what was Yugoslavia and Italy. Their parents ran a restaurant, visited each evening by members of the German SS. Lucia would sometimes overhear the Nazis discussing their plans and she would convey this information to the Italian underground.
At some point my aunt decided to actually join the underground group to fight fascist and Nazi evils. She was 20 at the time. She never became 21.
The day after she joined, the group was rounded up. She was lined up against a wall with the other heroes and shot.
I don't even know what my aunt Lucia looked like, but she has always been the most important influence in my life. She was not famous nor considered successful during her life.
But the central point here is that importance can be defined in many ways. Influencing others is an important role even if it is not a famous one.
Every step in your life you touch other people for good or for not. Each contact makes an impact on that other person, who then impacts others. It is a chain reaction. There is almost no way to be unimportant as long as you consider the wellbeing of others important. Whenever you touch another's life with benevolence you become important to the world.
Consider yourself a stone thrown across the water of a pond. Watch the infinite ripples caused by one, single, seemingly unimportant, small pebble.
To get back to my caller, contributing to the healthy growth, development, and functioning of other human beings is of supreme importance — and the greatest thing to which we can aspire.
Dr. Laura is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author whose full name is Laura Schlessinger. She is interviewed regularly on many of the biggest television shows and publications. Read more reports from Dr. Laura — Click Here Now.
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