What Defines Us?

The definition of “worth” according to Webster’s Dictionary:

So what is our worth, really? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Ask your mother and she may tell you that your worth is your intelligence, your grades, your skills and beauty.

Ask your friends and they may say how funny you are, and what a great listener you’ve been to them whenever they’re in need.

Your coach could say that you’re an asset to their team with your quick paced legs, and your director says you have beautiful lungs.

But what about you? What do you think defines your worth?

(Insert a sarcastic scoff from you as you read that.)

“I’m worth something?” You probably questioned, the light from your cell phone glistening on your face.

Yes. You are. The thing about it is, though, if you don’t see your worth, you’ll never understand what it is. I wanted to know if people were even aware at the thought of contributing worth to this world, so I asked a few friends of mine, “What do you think defines your worth?”

Most of them replied with a raised eyebrow and smirk, asking “Self worth?” as if it was some crazed conspiracy theory.

The first to answer was my ineffable friend, Mary. She stated that she “met Jesus, and I mean truly met Jesus. My great-grandmother sang the image of the Creator. It blew my mind that Someone who makes such beautiful things took time to craft me.”

Brynnon sent me into a fit of laughter with his short, yet simple, answer, “That’s tough.”

When Amanda responded, I could almost hear the mellifluous flow of her voice through the message she sent me (which I wish I could whole-fully share with you.) Amanda says “I am worth the best things in life because I am human…with emotions, desires, regrets, goals, motivation to live as well…My name is Amanda, meaning ‘worthy of love’. But it is not my name that makes me worthy of love; it is that fire inside me to be alive and be myself while doing so.”

One of my friends, who I will leave anonymous, made me entirely too melancholy for words. (They) just shrugged with four words, “I don’t have any.”

No. No, no, no, no!

We were not put on this earth to be jejune. Insignificance is not in our DNA, because being insignificant isn’t possible. We are all on this earth for a purpose, whether it be to serve loyalty through your religion, or to write something that matters. I don’t care who you are.

One of my favorite words currently is the word “sonder,” which is the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as yours. This happens to me quite often, and brings the epiphany to mind that every human is worth something. It intrigues me to no end.

Think about it! The man on the bus on your commute to work, each of your teachers, your friends, your coworkers- they’re all here for a reason, no matter the length of time they are going to be here for.

Our worth doesn’t come down to one solitary reason. We are filled with laughing until our stomachs cramp, singing at the top of our lungs on a sunny day, and the dimple that appears on our right cheek, even if sometimes we hate its appearance. We are the will to try new things, despite what it may smell or look like. We are climbing to the roof to watch the sunrise, or the meteor showers. We are the little moments of licking our lips when we’re concentrated, or wiggling our toes when we sleep.

We are made to live for so much more than what our peripherals can see.

Your worth isn’t based upon whether or not you get cast as the lead in the fall musical, or run that touchdown the right way. None of that matters when we buzz down to the core of our being.

So what? You failed one test. You can make it up. That girl is spreading rumors about you around the school. She’s blind to your worth. (The seeing never take it personally that the blind cannot see.) It isn’t your fault that your parents continue to argue every night after dinner. Eat the meal, the scale won’t budge. I promise.

Why is it that we constantly adjust our worth based on the opinions of others, or even the weather? Just because there are scattered showers, shouldn’t mean you must avoid looking in the mirror.

Noelle Bovee is one of my close friends. She recently challenged me to go a whole week without saying anything negative about myself. It’s more difficult than you’d think. I found myself muttering sarcastic comments such as “Wow I suck.” or “I hate myself so much.” This challenge really opened my eyes, and I encourage you to try it out. Like me, you may notice how self-deprecating you really tend to be sometimes. Even with the small comments I made, I noticed. And without hating on myself so much, I felt better. Truly! So try it out, and thank her later.

I’m so sorry.

I must confess something.

Throughout the past few days, I’ve messaged a number of people, asking them to send me a picture. There’s a catch though. They had to write “I am worth it” on a piece of paper, take a picture, and send that picture to me. All of these people were told that they’d be featured in my blog – partly true. I’m a sly fox though, because what they weren’t aware of was, 1. that I planned for the “I am worth it” paper to have such a deeper meaning.

If you’re reading this and have your piece of paper, you’ve succumbed to my trickery. Now you have a piece of paper, confessing your worth, written by you, but from me. That means you cannot throw it away, because it is a precious gift. I want you to forever know in your heart that you are worth it.  I would love for you to hang it up somewhere special, where you can see it on a daily basis. When you feel down, look at it and know that I think you’re worth it, and because you wrote it and participated in this, you somewhat think so as well.
No matter who you are, you contribute something to this world.

You. Are. Worth. It.

To end this blog, I leave you with an extraordinary quote from one of my favorite novels,

“So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to be okay about them.”

Until next time,


Oh yeah, part 2 of the confession is that I made this.


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