You’re walking down a busy shopping street, it’s bustling with all shapes and sizes: the young and beautiful, the middle-aged and worn out looking, the old and ready to leave looking, the happy couple, the hot chick, the homeless man, the half-wit, the shady creep, and finally there’s you.
Who am I in all this?
You suddenly start to wonder about yourself. What am I worth to society? Do I get to decide? Or is it them?
Most would tell you that you should hold your head high and always value yourself in high regard. That’s not bad advice. At the very least, people may give you the benefit of the doubt when the situation arises. And that can make all the difference in your life – get your foot in the door.
But, what are you really worth?
I mean, it’s surely possible to delude yourself into thinking you’re worth more than you are. This would be fine if you lived out your days in complete ignorance and died happily, believing you were someone you’re not (someone better). And not so fine if you lived your days struggling to admit you’re not who you thought you were.
On the other hand, many of us delude ourselves into thinking we are worth less than we are. Comparing ourselves to others and beating ourselves up for not quite cutting it in life.
What is the real benchmark though? Are we all truly equal in value? I’m sure there are successful people, people with all the things you ever dreamed of, who at times feel the same stinking feeling of self-worthlessness as the man with nothing (Celebrity suicides for example). So, having ‘success’ – whatever version of it makes sense to you – is not an actual indicator of self-worth then, is it?
I’m not a religious person, and so I don’t look in that direction to find meaning in life. And that makes me wonder if religion itself is necessary for people to have some sort of benchmark on which to ‘value’ themselves. I can see why people would flock to religion for this meaning.
What then of the non-religious person? What do they use as an indicator of value in life?
As of now, I have no idea…