Human Worth

Your worth defines you.

“What do you do?” They ask me.

“What is your job?” They inquire.

“Who are you?” They mean.

What you do is who you are, it signifies your worth, your value.

When their drones deposit bombs on civilians they ask, what worth do these people have? Are they government officials or farmers? (“Humans are only as valuable as their intelligence.”)

So what about the disabled? The uneducated? The poor? The sick? The victims of systemic, colonial, and patriarchal oppression. They have less worth to you because the only contribute to your life insofar as they clean your house, get you off, farm your food, or sweep your streets.

As Christians we are told that your status doesn’t matter, we are all one. Whilst in the mind of God this may be true, practically in the church it is not. Older women are relegated to a particular domain, namely the kitchen to prepare morning tea for after the service. Those who are obviously poor or of low intelligence are largely avoided, as are women who are ‘promiscuously’ dressed. Love is shared amongst those of middle-upper classes who behave in understandable ways. Any acts of love towards the marginalized are largely tokenistic as we don’t believe love can be reciprocated by them towards us.

We are scared of foreigners because we don’t understand them. Our prejudice is based on fear, not apathy. Our desire to understand people, of which we do by asking them ‘what they do’ allows us to categorize and ascribe worth to them.

I wonder if there is a way of understanding people that doesn’t necessitate the categorizing of them into what we believe they are capable of physically and relationally. Can we take more chances in interacting with them to discern their personality and potential for relationship? Can we stop ascribing worth to other people, and indeed to ourselves, based on our occupations, wealth, or intelligence?  Can we intentionally broaden how we understand one’s worth to include things such as their personality attributes, their kindness and generosity, their relationships to other peoples, their likes and dislikes, their historical context, and most importantly how God sees them?

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3 thoughts on “Human Worth

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  1. This is definitely something to be taken seriously. It can be heartbreaking when you are valued less for some reasons as those covered in this post. Loved this. Thanks for sharing.

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