Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

Amazing Spier-Man 2By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

When I was in university, I watched a movie called Shall We Dance. The only thing I remember about it (other than that it starred Richard Gere) was a small clip where the main character’s wife is talking to the private investigator she hired to find out if her husband was cheating on her.

“Why do you think people get married?” she asked.

He makes a guess, but she shakes her head.

“It’s because we need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet. What does any one life mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it. All the time. Every day. You’re saying, ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.’”

At the time, that hit me hard. I was at a point in my life where I felt invisible and unimportant. Like if I didn’t exist at all, it wouldn’t matter. I was never suicidal. I put too precious a value on life, and I was happy to be alive. But I wanted to matter.

That clip meant enough to me that I own the movie even though I don’t think I’ve watched it since. It let me know I wasn’t the only one who sometimes felt that way.

This weekend, when my husband and I went to watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the same message was there—that the world is full of people who feel invisible, and unimportant, and unwanted.

The main villain in the movie, Max Dillon (Electro), is the epitome of an invisible man. His plans for the power grid were used without giving him credit. Few people remember his name, and those who do treat him like dirt rather than like a human being who deserves respect.

Harry Osborne and Peter Parker both feel like their parents threw them away and valued other things more highly than their own children.

And even Aunt Mae feels like she wasn’t enough. She feels like despite all she’s done for Peter and how much she loves him, he still pines for his parents.

I walked away from the movie with a few thoughts I couldn’t shake.

Be nice to everyone. Yes, Max/Electro took the kindness shown him to the extent of becoming a crazy Spiderman super-fan, but for most people, your small act of kindness, even if it’s just saying hello and remembering their name, might be what gets them through the day.

You’re making a bigger difference than you think. When Aunt Mae finally confesses to Peter how she felt, he tells her she shouldn’t think that way. She was enough. We won’t always see the positive effect we’re having in the world and on those around us, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t.

You’re not alone. Most people have gone through a time when they felt invisible or insignificant. It doesn’t mean you are. Press on and this too shall pass.

What matters most is how you deal with your feelings. There are good and bad ways to cope when we feel invisible. Both Harry Osborne and Max/Electro chose the wrong path. Aunt Mae and Peter chose the right path. Aunt Mae talked with a loved one about it, and Peter tried to give other people hope.

What do you think? Have you ever felt invisible? What got you through?

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