Thursday, June 17, 2010

Are you worth it?

So what exactly defines someone’s worth? Is it what they do? The warm fuzzy “who they are”? Then the real question, do you even know who they are? Is it because they were born, because they breath air? Is it if they have your skin color or speak your language? Of course most of us shudder at the mere thought that we would be anything but open-minded and willing to accept anyone regardless of race or creed but come now, you are actually going to tell me that you don’t balk at what is different? That some statements don’t make you cringe and some people make you uncomfortable?

I will tell you the truth. There are situations and people and places, there have been languages and culture and foods that have completely weirded me out. Honestly, I tried my best to be “open-minded” and to stay cool, to shrug the circumstance off to hide the fact that I looked completely different from all the other people surrounding me and that it made me uncomfortable. I would like to say that I have never stared at someone because they were different or that I have willingly, and without grimacing, eaten all food placed before me. I would like to say that there are not cultural things that I don’t understand and that there is not anything that I just plain dislike. But I would be lying, to myself and to you. I would like to say that I completely find someone’s “worth” by who they are and just because they are human not by what they do but when I take an honest look at myself I realize that I demand large amounts from myself and therefore have that expectation of others as well and am disappointed when those expectations are not met. Do I think these are good characteristics? Am I proud of these things? No. But what is the point of lying to myself? How can I ever change if I never see myself for what I actually am not what I would like to be.

My favorite ruler to judge by is the amount that someone gets done, how hard they work and if they take on extra. Why is this my favorite? Because it is the ruler with which I judge myself. It’s my standard and therefore in my estimation the standard. And a ruler and standard and measurements, measurements of worth. So I say it doesn’t matter if someone can not work and I say it is their own choice if they will not work but how can both be true can I measure myself that way and not others?

On another branch of that same tree is the question that was discussed at the clan lunch table here today. I write the newsletter for our org and have for years, the newsletters are infamously vague, mostly because there are so many very personal issues that are dealt with by our org that it would be wrong to write about it and send it out to all of our support team, they may know that person! We deal with many small towns so what if someone reads their personal life crap posted all over Facebook? Even with name omission it would be hard to keep under cover in small towns, or since the internet has made everything so much smaller it would be hard to not have most of everyone you know see the nitty-gritty of your life. How humiliating! So of course we are careful to omit that kind of detail in our letters which can tend to lead to vagueness. On the other hand when we are out of country it seems to be acceptable in the eyes of most to go ahead and print names and people’s personal stories and so on because when are they ever going to see it? And they certainly don’t know anybody that is going to be reading it so it is safe right? My question is and has been for quite some time, so how are they any different from the person down the street? Privacy is privacy right? A human being is a human being anywhere they live and should have the right to keep their dignity intact whether they know their name and story is being plastered all over the internet or not.

So where do you see someone’s worth? Or are you clean of the grime that I find staining me? What is your standard? And have you reached it? Are you worth it just as you are?

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