The Value We Give
During a group meeting a few days ago, one member mentioned he’d start his own business if he had something to sell, but he was a writer.
Then it dawned on him that he did have something to sell.
His skills. He had something of value, something others wanted.
Something he got paid for doing.
So, while he had something of value to offer potential clients, that didn’t mean he felt a sense of personal value. Value measured on an output scale for business is fairly easy. If you meet or surpass your goals and then some, you value rises within your company. If you don’t provide value that’s equivalent to success, you fail.
For some, it means validation from others rather than self-valuation. That ultimately is an empty moment though and doesn’t hold much weight for the one looking to be valued. Value must go deeper; perhaps it is intrinsic to whatever one holds dear.
If one’s value can be measured in terms of ‘others’ then what is the meaning of value to an individual? How does one measure that sort of value? Or, to put it another way, what does it mean to know one’s own personal value if not through others?
Sometimes our value is determined by our willingness to forego individuality for the safety of the group. We most often see that in politics and religion. Or as a way to keep members of the family together.
Still other times, it matters to just stay in place and not shine when it is possible.
My mother used to tell me ‘not to make waves’ and stir up trouble. She knew I could stand on my own, but she didn’t want me to get hurt or called out by others who were older, the older generation of my family deemed “wiser, yet not necessarily more intelligent.
So, I made waves. Got into arguments too. Told to behave. Mind my manners. The adults knew best. I was just a kid. All sorts of comments and dismissals to shut me up.
I realized I had no voice, unless I chose to have one.
Did it have to be by ‘making waves’ within the family? Did that also mean I had to do the same in every other context of my life?
All too often we forego our ability to shine and hide our special skills or qualities for someone else’s benefit.
Hiding is easy.
Some say it’s kind to those who have nothing to show or share. Keeps the scales of balance even. Yet it doesn’t help anyone if we hide. They will feel our loss, our egoistic fakery. They will feel diminished and smaller than we could ever make them by sharing who we are.
If we can stand and shine, we can also share. And show the way toward their next potential.
Give someone a brief glimpse of excellence.
Be true to ourselves and give them the same benefits.
Can we really afford or want others to know our worth without showing it?