Lesson of the Week
Worthwhile: I am a person of importance and value
You are a person who is worthwhile. You are important and valuable. So, what might keep you from feeling worthwhile, important, and valuable? The word worthwhile is quite often used to denote two concepts: cost and benefit. In accounting cost is the outlay and benefit the income of being an entity. When the balance is in the “red” or losses exceed gains, the business could go “under” or be forced into bankruptcy. Likewise when people believe their life is costing more than benefitting, setbacks are greater than achievements, or penalties offset rewards, they may no longer feel worthwhile and think they are mentally bankrupt.
This was true of a woman who decided that she was costing society more than benefiting. She did not feel worthwhile, important, or valuable, so she decided to end her life. She was saved by a miraculous distraction coming from a bright star. A star sapphire caught the sun and shone in her eyes, waking her to a new view of herself and her mission. The flashing effect is called Asterism – when parallel, needle-like inclusions are oriented and cut as a domed cabochon and shine in the light as a six-pointed star.
Her “ah ha” moment was realizing that she was like the star sapphire. Her needle-like inclusions were the innate qualities of soul. Her light was maintaining an awareness of her own qualities – a mental enlightenment of self worth. She knew she had witnessed her own star quality before. It was the twinkle in her eye when she was doing good – feeling the virtue going out of her self while helping others. The mental darkness had come when she was listening to other’s demeaning criticisms, letting herself be bullied, or thinking she was worthless. She stopped dying and started living by perceiving herself as worthwhile and having the potential to do good.
There are many others that have fallen into the mental darkness of thinking they are not worthwhile — that the cost of life exceeded the benefits. This dark state can come from being unenlightened to one’s own innate potential, achievements, rewards, worth, importance, value. This sense of mental bankruptcy can happen early on in life. For instance, an innocent child might skip up to a caretaker and ask, “See what I made?” The child is really asking, “What do you think about me because in essence I am the painting?” Here are some typical adult answers:
a) “Stop bothering me.” (The message: You are not worth another person’s time.)
2) “Your sister’s pictures were much better.” (The message: You are not worth as much as someone else.)
c) “Look at how much paint you wasted.” (The message: You are not worth used paint.)
d) “Look at the mess you made!” (The message: You are a worthless mess.)
e) “Go clean your room.” (The message: You have no worth until you please me.)
No matter what the reason, if you are in the dark about your worth, importance, or value, you can become enlightened and see your own innate “star” quality. In fact, “stardom” comes by shining the light of understanding on your own potential. When something untoward happens, you will find the benefits always outweigh the costs because your perception will make the appropriate adjustments and adaptations necessary to mitigate this negative experience. Through this simple enlightenment, you will find that you are worthwhile, important, and valuable.
“You are an extremely valuable, worthwhile, significant person even though your circumstances may have you feeling otherwise.
- James Newman, Mathematician
Activity Balancing the Worthwhile Seesaw
Materials: Paper and pen or pencil
Time: Ten minutes to write and ten minutes for each person to discuss
1. With the sheet of paper in lengthwise or landscape orientation, draw a one-inch triangle at bottom, middle of the page. Over the triangle, draw a line across the page so the picture looks like a seesaw or line with a triangular fulcrum under it.
2. Label to the left of the fulcrum and under the line: Cost (Negative). Label to the right of the fulcrum and under the line: Benefit (Positive).
3. On top of the line on the “Cost” side of the fulcrum, make some boxes and in each one write down a cost of being you. These are the negative costs of being you (e.g., don’t have enough money, worry). On the Benefits side make boxes above the line and write in each one a benefit of being you. These are the positive benefits of being you (e.g., hardworking, help others). You can also do this activity using your mission costs and benefits
4. Discuss your results by answering the following questions:
a) Which side has the most weight -- costs or benefits? If the balance is on the side of the costs, what can you add to the benefits side to balance off the scale?
b) How does this relate to your being worthwhile, important, or valuable?
c) What are the five most important ways you are worthwhile, important, and/or valuable.
I am worthwhile so I can …… We’d like to hear your story about being a person of value.