“What is it worth?”
It is December. For those of us from Europe today was “Nikolaustag” today. This tradition, a recent conversation with other experts, in the field of finances, as well as a question a friend of mine posted on Facebook, brought back to my mind the question of what do we value – and what are those “things” worth.
In the current climate, especially in the United States where people are trying to figure out much after the recent election, the pandemic, and more – it has become clear to me that we have lost the art of listening to each other, hearing each other. Instead most often what I see is that people are quiet while someone else is talking with the sole focus being on responding and “being” right in their words, minds, and opinions. So much gets lost in that type of approach. Witnessing that all over the place nowadays, I am further prompted to ask a question: what do you value and why.
The holiday season – regardless of what faith you belong to, subscribe to, or participate in – usually is a season off peacefulness, hope, and love. Yet, lately I wonder if we have lost that, too since we seem to focused on… on what, really?
From all the recent conversation it’s clear that many are still mainly looking at “money” and a socially-conditioned definition of “success” as their targets and goals. That translates into “things”. How much do you have? What do you have? What do you have to show for?
It’s about having. Is “having” stuff worth losing peace, love, and hope? Do we even still know what our idea of happiness is?
In that conversation, a “Lunch Bunch Break” with You Define Wellness, we talked more about teaching children and adults (especially grandparents) that “things” don’t have as much value as time, attention and thus: memories we create. This is so important at all times and even more important at a time when many people across the globe have been negatively impacted by the current pandemic and measure meant to slow or halt it. Many people lost their jobs. Many people have seen a decrease in their income. How are they now going to be able, if willing, to “compete” with others this holiday season? How are they going to be able to explain to their children, loved ones, friends, and possibly co-workers that this year there will be less to “have”? This can be a real challenge for so many. Thus the question, is that hunt for “money” worth this challenge now and the depression that possibly comes with it?
The communication that is involved in this challenge requires listening and hearing – it requires an open mind, trust, and love – not an approach of “I am right”. There is a lot of fear nowadays to talk about finances, to talk about the reality of a financial situation. Why? Because so many have been living and teaching (by way of action and more) that competition and the focus on “money” and “stuff” is important and that “having stuff” means you are valuable. Was it worth it?
The values I grew up with, that I cherish and live, teach my daughter are not about “having stuff”. Yes, I do gift her more stuff than I had and yet, I always explain that I can only do that when there is money. I talk with my daughter about what everything costs and the fact that we are fortunate to be able to pay for some of her hobbies, able to pay for electricity and water and that we need to turn the light off when we are not in a room to save money. That all is important financial education and yet, it’s more. It is actually me taking the time to explain, taking the time to show her that I value her understanding. She understand that time is the gift. She understand that when I get off the phone I am with her and nothing else matters because the time with her is what I value. I grew up understanding that the most valuable gift I can give is: me and my time. The gift of my time keeps on giving. The gift you take time to create – whether it’s a picture you draw, a coupon to clean the dishes or give a backrub or else – something special for someone shows you care and value them.
So when a friend on Facebook asked the other day “What is your most precicious possession?” I paused for a moment. I was hesitating because of the word “possession”. Then I answered: “The breath of life.” Why? Because with that breath I am able to spend time with loved ones, get to know them, show them I love them and I care about them, and create memories that will last. Is that worth it? To me? YES.
What do you value? What do you show and teach others? At the end of the day, do you every ask yourself “What is it worth ?” and answer that without a view on money or stuff?
It’s the time to reflect, thanks to the holidays and thanks to the current situation we live in. It’s the perfect time to reflect and review and figure out what you value so you can say, at the end of this year or any year: It was worth my time with a heart full of peace, hope, and love.