What are you worth?
“What are you worth?” a friend once asked me. Without even missing a beat, I immediately and half-jokingly replied back with some astronomical monetary amount that I had conjured up in my head, as if I could even place a monetary value upon my existence. “No my friend, not how much you are worth…what are you worth?” Somewhat confused I asked him what he meant. He proceeded to explain that a persons worth is not measured by the amount of money or financial value arbitrarily placed upon ones existence and left behind once a person passes on, but by the sum total of what a person brings into this world and brings to fruition during their lifetime. After pondering that statement for a moment I had to admit that he was right. More often than not we tend to view ourselves through a financial prism when we consider our personal value or what we are worth to others. Maybe that comes from us spending the bulk of our adult lives in pursuit of ever larger amounts of money. When you think about, due to the way our society is structured, it’s plain that from early adulthood most of us are programmed to go out into the world and accumulate ever increasing amounts of wealth in order to maintain and in some cases exceed a certain standard of living. This in turn warps our perception of what we are worth, because by the time we become adults we are trained to measure our progress through life in strictly monetary terms. For example, most of us measure our success in terms of how big or costly our house is, how expensive our toys and personal effects are, or even how many fancy sounding degrees we have hanging on the wall. All of these things mean nothing to a person if they have not spent time nurturing long term meaningful relationships with family and friends. This is what my friend meant when he asked me what I was worth and not how much I was worth. In order to check myself from time to time I now often ask myself that very question...what am I worth to the people in my life? Am I someone who they will describe to others as an integral part of their lives, someone who they will view as a treasure to be kept or will they view me as a trinket to be played with for a little bit and then discarded or forgotten because of the way I’ve treated them? I try to live my life so that those whose lives I touch will hopefully remember me for the goodness and joy I try to bring into their lives and at the end of the day not to be left with any bad memories or negative feelings about me as a person. I am blessed to have a good job where I can go to work everyday and also have a certain degree of moral and financial responsibility so that my needs and wants are taken care of without me having to resort to unethical means of conduct in order to achieve them. Do you take the time to consider what you are worth to those who know you, or do you just live out your life never even giving it a second thought as to how your actions may impact others? Are you an irreplaceable treasure or a temporary trinket?