Monday, April 25, 2011

From the book Worthy

Everyone Has Worth
Throughout our history, humans have battled or threatened others in pursuit of food, water, shelter and power. The survival of a race, an economic way of life, or position of power can compel us to kill, demonize, and victimize others to keep what we believe we are entitled to control. Our need to fight arises from the perception that resources are limited, and a core belief that if one person is worthy of those resources, then another is not.

Who would you place on your list of history’s “worst people”?  For many Americans living today, Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden may come to mind. Native Americans might recall people who took their land by force and placed them on reservations. For some retirees, or people who will never be able to retire, the worst people are corporate executives who embezzled billions of dollars, dissolving employee pensions and retirement savings.

It could be a rapist, a murderer, an abuser, or a traitor. How could any of these people be considered worthy of anything except the punishment of their crime? Based on destructive behaviors and actions, it may be hard to resolve that, no matter what, everyone, without exception, has value and worth.

But if we believe our worth is intrinsic, simply because we exist, then worth must be granted to everyone, regardless of behavior or flaws. Our existence-- not our actions--dictates our worth.

When we lack a sense of self-worth, we are unable to see it in others. Therefore, our behaviors and actions can become destructive. Something or someone without worth or value becomes disposable. If we all had self-worth and valued the worth of others, we wouldn’t engage in war and genocide.

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