Wednesday, March 30, 2011

13 mattresses, 8 chairs, 11 drawers, two toilets...

Today is Spring Clean Up day in my neighborhood. People have been carting out their old stuff and piling it up on the curb. Today the City will send in crews to mop it up. As I was out riding my bike I noticed the variety. Though I didn’t count, I would say mattresses took first place with somewhere between 11 and 15. Chairs were probably next with eight to ten. There were many drawers, probably more than chairs, really. I also saw two toilets at one house and two sinks at another.

I couldn’t help wondering why these items were discarded. Once they were valued and purchased for a price. Today they have been replaced. Did they serve the user well? Were they helpful at one time, or were they just taking up space.

Discarding has always been difficult for me, but we live in a disposable society and almost everything has a limit to its useful life. What of my life? How useful am I? Am I disposable? Am I helpful or do I just take up space?

Thinking in those terms is a little sobering. What is the value of a life? How much do you value your own life? Your neighbor’s life? Your child’s life?

If the value we place on life has to do with popularity, beauty, strength, or intelligence, then most of us will come up short at one time or another. Is a kind person of more value than a mean one? Is a tidy person of more value than a messy one? Is a young person of more value than an old one?

Though we may strive for excellence, our value is more than our achievements,our skills,our talents,or our age. Our value is more than our character traits. Though we may be trying to improve ourselves in a variety of ways, our worth cannot be measured by our growth. When we try to measure our worth by a worldly yardstick, we will often feel less than.

Growing, improving, developing are satisfying and can enhance our self-esteem, but not our worth. Our worth is eternal. Our value is endless. It was created before we were born. We cannot do anything to erase our worth or to multiply it.

Finding peace with ourselves involves understanding who we are and perhaps more importantly whose we are. This is the source of our worth. When we understand that we were created on purpose and that we are perfect just the way we are, then we can begin to love ourselves. When we love ourselves, we can do anything.

That is our destiny.

Linda Garner

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