Value and Worth
One summer when our daughter, Jill, was home from college,
she went down to the local cafe where the kids liked to hang
out. During the evening one of their friends arrived with
the announcement that Hank was giving a party. "Letís
all go." Jill knew Hank slightly and thought it would
be an "okay party." In all of the jostle to car
pool, she found herself paired up with Tom.
When they got to the party, it wasn't long before a marijuana
joint was passed around. Jill said Tom sat to her left and
the joint was coming around from the right. When it came to
her, she just passed it on to Tom without smoking it. Tom
also passed it on without smoking it. These two were the only
ones who didn't smoke the joint. Later Tom told Jill that
he'd had a hard time with marijuana, and was really trying
to stay away from it. If she hadn't passed it on without smoking
it, he knew he wouldn't have been able to resist. Tom thanked
Let's analyze what happened there:
Jill wasn't even thinking about Tom as the joint came along.
Before that evening, she had discovered the value of a healthy
body and and a clear mind. She had placed the correct worth
on these two ideas, and in doing so, she developed this principle:
Two of the ways to have a happy, free life are to keep my
body healthy and my mind clear. Obviously, smoking marijuana
would violate that principle.
The preparation before the party paid off. Jill went out
that evening consciously living by that principle, therefore,
she didn't care at all what the others thought. They were
obviously not operating by that principle. They were viewing
the marijuana as good. Because Jill had placed her principle
as a higher priority than what people would think, she was
not vulnerable to the peer pressure. And by example, and not
even thinking about that part of it, she helped Tom be true
to himself just as she was being true to herself.
She was also practicing the principle of Enlightened Self-interest,
which is, in this context, self-interest based on a correct
perception of Value. When we regard something as worth a lot,
we take care of it.