Our sense of self worth comes from three different areas: what I do, what I have, and what kind of a person I am.
Everyone knows that a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer is more important, in the world’s eyes, than a dishwasher or a garbage collector. After we meet someone the first thing we want to know about a person is “What do you do?”
The second source of self worth comes from what we have. We know that people who drive expensive cars, live in expensive houses, and wear expensive designer clothes are more important than people who drive beaters, live in a trailer park, and shop at Dollar General. Children in grade school become envious of others who have certain things they don’t have and parents rush out to buy the latest fad so that their children will fit in and won’t feel bad, i.e. suffer from diminished self worth.
The third source of self worth comes from our virtues. Are you honest, loving, kind or deceitful, nasty, and bitter? Most religious traditions teach that it is a person’s character which gives him or her worth not their social status or material possessions.
My friend, Al, told me a story about his father, Nick, who lived well into his 90s. Al told me that when people would ask his Dad, “Nick what are you doing in your retirement,” Nick would answer brightly, “I’m a human being not a human doer.” Indeed, human beings are like the grass and the flowers. Perhaps we need no explanation beyond the mystery, marvel, and beauty of our existence.
At the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship we don't care what you do or what you have. We are more interested in the kind of person you are and want to become. We are developing a faith community that is nurturing and supportive of spirit. Are you enjoying your life? Do you take the time to notice and appreciate the goodness, the beauty, the truth, the justice, the compassion, the joy of life?
I learned how to relax and enjoy life more from Kurt Vonnegut’s story in his last book, A Man Without A Country. Kurt says that it dawned on him one day that the purpose of life is farting around. I have been trying to fart around more and I am enjoying life much more. May you learn how to enjoyably fart around and enjoy the marvel of your existence.
Kurt Vonnegut was a Unitarian Universalist. His last book published while he was living was A Man Without A Country.
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