What’s The Worth of a Person?
I saw this quote from J.K. Rowling, “If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
That revved my mind into high gear. While this quote has great truth to it, and applies to both men and women, I wondered why we feel there must be superiors, inferiors, and equals. What’s the point? Where to do draw the line? Does anything good come from making those distinctions and are they even valid?
It depends on the situation. Let’s be clear:
The Worth of a Person is Intrinsic.
I’ll come back to that later. First, let’s look at a few different scenarios.
If you examine a work situation, really look at it, those titles can serve a purpose. They determine who is ultimately responsible for the results—desired or not—that a department, division, or company is getting. They also help workflow and productivity by giving one person the authority to direct another’s actions. That prevents people from milling around with no direction. It also helps one person—or team—with a greater understanding of the whole process make sure things are running smoothly. Think of it this way, a single gear in the watch doesn’t need to understand exactly how its turning contributes to the hands moving. But the watchmaker must understand the whole system to make quality watches.
The same things apply to the military, law enforcement, the government, and all other organizations that involve or employ large numbers of people. The people with superior rank, title, or job function have more responsibility and are expected to both understand the greater scope of the organization’s purpose and to drive it toward those ends.
But does that make them superior as people, as human beings?
As I said above, The Worth of a Person is Intrinsic. Your worth is built in, you were born with it, you’ll die with it, it never changes and it’s as great as everyone else’s.
The relative worth of individuals in a society is different from their worth as humans. Your worth in society comes from the value you add—in one form or another. And it has nothing to do with your worth as a person.
We like our labels though.
Sadly many people confuse their work function with their identity. They feel that since they’re labeled inferior in job status to another, that this makes them inferior in life or as a person. This is far from the truth. Your work is your work. If you don’t like it…Change It! If you like it…Keep It! But your work has nothing to do with your worth as a person. Your worth as a person is infinite, just as you are. It isn’t something you can change or that is changed by what you do, what you have, or how you live.
You have limitless potential. We all do. Whether you tap into your potential is another story, and it’s entirely up to you. But whether or not you develop yourself has no bearing on your worth.
There’s also the tendency, in many societies, to segment people based on geography, income, education, career, religious beliefs, etc. These differentiations of human value are ridiculous. At the core, all humans are of equal and tremendous worth. Every single one! That means no matter what part of the world you live in, no matter what your education level or your income or your job or your religious beliefs or your skin color, you are worth just as much as every other human being that exists. Period!
Are You Getting The Message?
You Are Worth as Much as Everyone Else!
This understanding carries responsibility with it. As you understand that your inherent worth is as great as every other human being, you must also accept that every other human being is inherently worth as much as you. This means you must act with love, patience, kindness, mercy, and compassion with everyone. You must treat all others the way you want to be treated. It means you must live the golden rule.
Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.
None of us are perfect. But we all have perfect potential. We can all grow into the best version of ourselves.
J.K. Rowling’s words are accurate.
“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
People are revealed by how they act towards those they hold in lower esteem than themselves. But that’s the key. It’s their opinion of the other person that shapes their behavior. And their opinion has nothing to do with the reality of the person’s worth. The opinion of others has nothing to do with your worth. Just as your opinion has nothing to do with the worth of others.
As you go through your day, today, tomorrow, and from now on, please look at others with the new awareness that they are worth as much as you. And please look at yourself with the new awareness that you are worth as much as everyone else, worth even as much as the most amazing person you know.
Let’s do this!
You Are the Master of Your Destiny!