1:00 PM ET | 12:00 PM CT | 11:00 AM MT | 10:00 AM PT
Presented by Isaac and Ora Prilleltensky. Mattering consists of feeling valued and adding value, to ourselves and others. By feeling valued we mean being appreciated, respected, and recognized. By adding value we mean making a contribution and making a difference in the world. We feel valued by, and add value to, self, relationships, work, and community. Ableism, racism, discrimination, and oppression work against feeling valued and opportunities to add value.
The mattering effect refers to the positive or negative consequences of feeling like we matter or not. Feeling valued is a precondition for personal health and well-being. Adding value, in turn, is a prerequisite for a meaningful life. The negative effects of not mattering, however, can be devastating. Ostracism, exclusion, and rejection are not only painful, but they can also lead to violence and depression. Feeling like we matter is one of the most defining features of humanity. When that feeling is present, we thrive. When that need is thwarted, we develop one of two types of problems: devaluation or overvaluation. We feel either invisible or invincible; ignored or grandiose. The presenters will discuss the implications of mattering for living with a disability.
Isaac Prilleltensky, former Dean of the School of Education and Human Development, holds the Erwin and Barbara Mautner Endowed Chair in Community Well-Being at the University of Miami. Ora Prilleltensky, who has FSHD, is a retired professor from the University of Miami, where she directed a major in Human and Social Development. Their latest book, from which this text is excerpted, is How People Matter: Why it Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society (Cambridge University Press, 2021). They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
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