Thursday, 29 October 2015

Valuing Others - The Reciprocal Gift


29 October 2015. I sat in a meeting where only men were present and experienced probably one of the most feminist meetings I've ever attended. It was superb. It was a gathering to counsel us of the importance of our relationships with women, especially the most important women in our lives. It did not deify women but it established the worth they should have in our lives. It did not fall into the trap of emasculating men, something that too much of the world thinks is a suitable way to show respect to women, when it only serves to be condescending and, ultimately, more sexist. What it taught, more than anything, was that our lives should be in the pursuit of making others feel valued, rather than vainly chasing our own self worth.

Self worth is heralded as the ultimate goal by a select few who want to sell their books, DVD and audio downloads, telling you how to unlock your potential. It is a mirage. A false dawn that doesn't exist but the world tells to keep running for that horizon because it's so close. Self worth doesn't come that way. It comes from an absence of conceit. Selflessness, not selfishness, breeds self worth.

We have fallen into a trap where we believe that we live in a 'bucket of crabs' society. We think that only a few can sit at the top and the rest must first drag the others down, if only sit atop them for a short while. It isn't true. When we value people, when we lift them up and see the good in them, we get a return that cannot be measured. The reciprocal gift is self worth itself. We become surrounded by people who are invested in our success because we have been on a crusade for their victory.

Recent experiences have taught me the incredible things that can happen in people's lives when we are invested in each other's worth over our own. When a manager believes in those whom he is in charge of, they rise up to better things. As such, they can show their managers as to how they get the best out of people. When you are invested in friend's happiness, whether it be their job, their relationships or just a craving for them to do something crazy, they radiate the edification they feel upon you. Sarcasm and snide banter are replaced by genuine compliments and positive insights. They do things for you because they want to. Why wouldn't they? You were so willing to give of your time, of yourself. Why would they not want to reciprocate? From that, you're rewarded with enriched relationships and the indirect but greater blessing is the self worth that comes from it.

It is time to stop thinking that discount relationships are bargains not to be missed. It is in our interest to be invested in those we care about. The value we place in people, namely those we should care about the most, is the self worth gift that will be reciprocated to us above that which we gave. When people rise because we lift them, we soar with them to. It's not a sacrifice. It's a priceless investment. It is the one contest where we can all win. That's worth a lot and it is when we will find out just how much we are worth.

Far more than you think. Far more than you can imagine.

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