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Value and Worth

An Illustration


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 Jill sincerely.

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.



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