17 February 2011

Worth: internal or external?

Worthiness. This concept and my relationship to it keeps coming up the past few weeks.

It started with an episode of the Suze Orman show. (You can download it for free on iTunes. It aired 1/22/11 and the relevant sections starts 14 minutes in.) What struck me was when she said that people who come into money* but don't feel worthy of it give it away.

*inheritance, lottery, bonus, whatever...some sort of windfall

Though to a much lesser degree, the notion felt familiar, a relationship with money and things wherein I think someone else deserves them more than I do.

There's also the notion of worth as a person. But where do our perceptions of worth come from?

What I read tends to make it seem simple as though it's all in my head. But if I lived alone on a deserted island, would worth still be relevant? Perhaps it would be its purest and simplest there: worth surviving or not.

Otherwise it seems like worth is mostly an external thing. Or certainly an interdependent one. Even perhaps an arbitrary one. The arbitrariness of worth I perceive is what I find most disheartening.

If I possess self worth but my interactions don't support that feeling, am I still worthy? The easy response is I'm interacting with the wrong people. The hard answer is that as an introvert my sample size is only going to get so large before my energy to deal with it is tapped out. All this is to say I feel worthy and unworthy.

For a person ambivalent about many things, I suppose this fits right in.

What's your take on worth? Internal, external, or a combination of the two?


A year ago on TTaT: Other things I learned from skiing

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