It seems that society values people on the basis of
What they have
What they do
What others say about them
Sadly this basis for ‘valuing” people ignores many of the qualities that can improve self-worth – kindness, patience, creativity, to share joy, friendship….
We seem to have moved away from appreciating someone for the value that their deeds bring to a community to the superficial value that their material trappings are believed to be worth.
The impact that this has on each individual’s self-worth cannot be underestimated. In the past in small communities people were not motivated merely by greed or hunger. Vocations such as nursing, teaching, policing, firefighting were aspired to. Those that contributed to the greater good of the community were valued and respected.
It may be difficult to relate to this from the perspective of our modern thinking. Building character, learning time-tested skills and feeling good about what you can give rather than get seem low on most priority lists.
Once again it comes to the basic essence of what makes us all feel good – how we are treated by others, or how we treat them? The climb to success may secure net worth at the price of self-worth, but claiming that it is to support our family or fulfil a parents’ dream seem like poor excuses.
Perhaps the ideal is to achieve a balance where one part of our lives does not need to be sacrificed to feed another. Appreciating that self-worth and net worth do not need to be mutually exclusive is a beginning.
Start small, do something this week simply because it makes you feel good. Kindness has its own reward. Feeling good about who you are is priceless. •