Personal Worth vs. Inherent Value

The Modern Survival Guide #14

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There are three takeaways from all this:

  1. Don’t assume that everyone will see or acknowledge your value. Most people don’t care about your inherent value (priests, social workers, pro-bono lawyers, and the occasional empathetic person might; don’t hold out hope for Congressmen). Most people care about your worth. What this means is that, if you want to be seen as worthy, you have to acquire worth. Not everyone can do this, and sometimes that’s an indictment of a society more than it is a judgement of a person.
  2. Don’t assume that a society’s measures of worth or value are fair. They are not. They are frequently the product of deliberate meddling by one group or another, for the purpose of favoring a particular set of goals or people. Should Wall Street brokers be worth more than teachers? Probably not. Do we treat them as if they are worth more? Hell yes.
  3. Don’t assume that a society’s measures of worth or value are constant and unchanging. They are not. Gay people in the US are valued far higher in 2017 than they were in 1950. The measures of worth and value change along with world events, and it can go VERY badly for you if you get stuck on the bad side of history (just look at the Cultural Revolution in China for a textbook example of values shifting overnight to the detriment of many, MANY people).

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

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