How Do We Define Our Worth?

I was speaking with a friend today. In light of Hilary Rosen’s recent remark about “Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life”, we were discussing the role of work to worth; the role of pay to worth; and the role of contributing our gifts to others. In our culture in America, it is fairly common to assign worth based on money.People often decide if someone has value based on whether or not someone has a paying gig…(looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

A highly successful stock broker may have more prestige and worth than say a grill cook making minimum wage at McDonald’s. They certainly make more money. In a purchase-driven society, it is easy to believe that the richer you are the better you are. (looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

Of course, that can work against you, too. Again in our society it is often assumed that you are wealthy you are automatically selfish, and cannot understand what “real, regular people face”. and so the battle rages on between those two camps. (looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

The battle at times also revolves around teachers (one side saying they are underpaid and the other saying teachers already make too much for such a “part time job” [yeh, they say that] or that cops or fire fighters or garbage collectors already make too much. Or that this or that occupation makes too much/too little or pays too much/too little in taxes. ((looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

Ultimately the battle also then turns on a couple of other groups. These groups often go unmentioned, or maligned, or marginalized. Who? Ah! Those who [according to some of the aforementioned maligners] “never work”. (horrors and great loud tsk-ing taking place by some).(some of the aforementioned maligners frequently label these 2 groups as either lazy or moochers). (looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

who are these groups? The full time homemakers would be one of the groups. I wrote about them before. No, they do not make an income. But they contribute~they take care of the homefront and make a difference. They are worthy of respect.

There is another other group is also much aligned. That group is on permanent disability. Some are disabled due to an illness, or debilitating pain or paralysis; others are incapable of work because of a physical or even mental illness. Way too many people have become just plain cruel about the fact that this group “isn’t working”. (looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

However, this group is struggling just to make it from day to day and make it through their pain and suffering. 

Many, many people assume that this group is lying, lazy, and just plain worth nothing. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Why is it that so much has become all about the money? Do we really want to say that the richer you are the better you are~when it comes to how valuable you are to society~ and at the same time say ‘the richer you are, the less compassion you have, and you should be brought down a peg? and do we want to sit around hollering at each other with jealousy and envy and calling each other selfish or lazy?  It is a Star Bellied Sneetch Mentality, isn’t it? Do you remember that book about the psychology of envy? 

There is so much more to life than the amount of money a person earns and or saves, or what ‘job related tasks’ they perform. Granted, those that have jobs contribute and have worth. But how wrong to say that those who do not have “paying jobs” are worthless… as a matter of fact: (looks like bullying, but it isn’t often called that).

How very crass and base to think that someone is worthless if they “are not working’. Can the elimination of child labor laws be far behind? Seriously! Jobs are good, but not the only way to contribute talent, love, inspiration to others. I think that as a blogger I have discovered a voice that I love to express. I have discovered other bloggers who give and give and give. Their writing, poetry, photography, etc are true gifts. They have found a way to share and give. Some people do this through their blogs and give us all so much encouragement, inspiration, and support as we search through our days.

Many bloggers helps us find our hearts, inspiration, and provide a lifeline to help us find our way to God and each other. These bloggers are invariably modest, talented, and loving. How do we define our worth? By how much we have loved others. And the love we give comes back to us in almost immeasurable ways. Remember when the Wizard of Oz gave the tin man his testimonial? Indeed, the Tin Man could be allegorical, couldn’t he? He lacked something (in his case physically)-but his loving ways added value to them all.

Whether you head out to a “job” on a regularly basis or not, you had better believe that you and those around you  are uplifted by your presence and the sharing of your gifts. the world needs each of us. We each were put here to help bridge the gaps that separate us from each other and we MUST connect. That is really how we should define our worth. Whether it involves cash or not; whether it involves physical, mental, prayerful, or electronic travel or not….What are we worth? To God and each other, my friends, we are worth everything.

It is difficult enough at times to face the daunting conditions of illnesses or pain without others behaving in a demeaning way. I know from my past year of dealing with Bell’s Palsy that one can become ‘invisible’ in a hurry. Yet finding my voice, and finding each of you restored my heart in new ways. I am brave and so are you…..tomorrow I will right about courage…

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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15 Responses to How Do We Define Our Worth?

  1. Caddo Veil says:

    Ahhh, another good message, Kate! I was thinking–with a bit of a smirk on–that when ignorant people question whether my disability is legitimate, whether I’ve defrauded the government to get my Soc Sec check each month, I should ask them if they think they could live on the benefits I receive (significantly less than $1000/month). As in, “Would anybody lie to collect this modest amount?” But the truth is, I feel wealthier than ever before in my life! Not in material goods–though seriously I don’t feel I’m lacking–but in quality of life, as I measure quality, I am very well off. When you finally discover your true identity in Christ–and He opens up the door for you to do what you earnestly LOVE, you have indeed arrived! It’s not about the money–it’s about what you said: “connecting in love”. Amen, amen!!

  2. Claudia says:

    Great post. You’re right, we put too much weight on money. Thank you for your beautiful words.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Thanks Claudia~we do, and we put emphasis on “recognizable well-defined jobs” too….the true worth is our acceptance of God’s mission for us each day and doing our best to do whatever that is, right?

  3. auntyuta says:

    This is beautiful, the way you encourage us to see our worth. This is very uplifting. Thank you for this post. Looking forward to what you have to write about courage.

  4. diggingher says:

    How we steward our gifts should be our emphasis. Society needs to move away from comparing one to another. I recently wrote a post in which I shared Jesus telling Peter it shouldn’t matter to him what the other guy is doing, that he was told to follow Him. I long for the time when we each know our place and work diligently in all we do as unto the Lord. Until then…I guess we keep on blogging:)

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Don’t you just love blustery Peter? Sometimes I can almost see Jesus smacking His hand to His forehead and saying “PETER!!! You are driving me nuts~FOCUS!” LOL. it encourages me to know that even His apostles had their moments, right? What a world it would become if we each successfully followed His mission for us….But if each of us that “get” that that is what to do, it sure does improve things, doesn’t it?

      • diggingher says:

        As I often say, it is progress toward perfection we are after. To offer one another the encouragement to become who they are in Christ and to accept the differences we each have is true freedom.

  5. Terri O.A. says:

    What an outstanding post!! It is so unfortunate that our society is reduced to minimizing the efforts of one group whether they be rich or poor. If someone is rich it really isn’t anyone else’s business to criticize them. And if someone is poor it isn’t anyone’s business how they are there….but the wonderful thing about America is the ability to change things. I thought Bill Maher’s comments about women at home was hilarious and infuriating….put him in a room of toddlers (or teenagers) for a week (with only himself for help), and the only puddle on the floor would be Bill. The kids would win hands down!! This is just silliness and sadness for America to participate in bashing, but it is a way to bully like you said, and to keep one view about a section of society in a certain light as to create more likeablility and power for themselves that they feel will turn into votes. There is only one problem with this theory. Bullies feel by picking on someone that is weak they have a sure win, and women serving a family at home are already sacrificial and strong for the choice they made. It will make a man out of a person! 🙂 🙂 Some may side with the ugly comments as always, but women as a group are not weak whether we work at home all day, or at the office and home. We can see through this idiocy! WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY! The right to make a choice is just that ….a right of the individual. Thanks Kate I hope you didn’t mind me venting, but you inspired me ………as always. Go Kate!!!!!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Well thanks, Terri! We all learned in kindergarten that you don’t make yourself better or more important by putting others down. But many people seem to have forgotten that. You almost want to say “you know you said that out loud, right?” Bullying is a hot button for me….certainly ever since my friends and I learned our lesson in junior high with Slam Books (remember those?). In a certain sense we have come a long way baby; but on the other hand, if WOMEN think being a homemaker isn’t work, then the women that think that way have become like the stereotypical MCPs of the 1950s. That piece of it is definitely a change from the early 1960s, but not an improvement.
      I have to say Bill Maher these days makes me want to smack him :-). You are right—I don’t think he could handle what I did for years. Not saying I could do his job at the level his bosses expect of him…The vent is okey-dokey—-I am the LAST one who can complain about that, right? LOL

      • Terri O.A. says:

        Whew I thought I was in hot water!! You could do his job. A few joke writers and your in…. but the problem is you are not heartless!!! Thank GOODNESS!!!!! LOL 🙂

  6. This is an excellent post Kate, and knowing the other side of the coin so to speak in the fact that I support those who have learning difficulties and Mental problems, I find many who look down their noses in society upon this class of person needing help and support.
    Also having been off work for a period of time in the past due to extensive chronic pain due to FMS which flared up out the blue, I know how others look at you and think nothing is wrong with you. But they do not see the pain once is suffering to a point I couldn’t walk without aids.
    My own answers to such people is never judge, For they never know what is around their own corners in life..
    There are also many Good people out there in the caring careers and those who DO care, and have a heart..
    If I were to define my own self.. I would want others to treat me kindly, and so that is what I do to others.. I treat them as I would wish to be treated. If we all did that one thing and be Kinder to each other and not judge, condemn or gossip about others this world would be well on its way to the Light ..
    Wonderful Post Kate.. Keep shinning your own good light upon our Mother Earth my friend xx
    Blessings to you~ Sue x

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I agree~the most we can ever do is to treat others the way we want everyone to treat them. That includes defending those being bullied, marginalized and humiliated. The seeds of prejudice and even genocide are planted in the soil of compliance with bullying, marginalization and widespread acceptance of ridicule and humiliation.

      Each time it (the bullying etc) goes on without protest, people become more accepting of it. It is like exposing children to violence on TV and in the movies. The more often they see it, the more acceptable it becomes. After they see many thousands of episodes of people getting beaten up or worse, they become more likely to commit the acts themselves. So, too, it is with bullying. People become accepting of it and say things like “oh whats the big deal, kids can be mean”; or “you are just way too sensitive”….I have always felt that it is essential to mention at those times that the bullying act was wrong, My calling it wrong isn’t the problem, the act is wrong….sometimes I shine a light with compassion and sometimes i try to re-educate…you keep shining, too Sue!

      • Thank you Kate, yes I wrote a similar piece about watching New etc, as it depresses and is negative as are the violence we see as children take it all in from a very young age.. , Love to you And Keep writing your excellent posts.. XX

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