Unearthing worth

Yesterday I spent far too much time obsessing over self-absorbed things, experimenting with profile photos (but only half-seriously, so none worth using, and realizing I was truly getting old), pondering my existence online (and how to rearrange it to make myself look better), and chasing likes. I read far too much bad and mediocre poetry in the process, of the kind that garners an abundance of seeming popularity.

I think it’s important that people write, but only the truth, and not drivel to be liked. So mustn’t I set the same example? And yet I myself crave likes. And what gets likes? Mostly drivel. With a few rare exceptions. And why? Because that which is likeable is usually also banal and harmless.

As humans we only want to leave our mark upon the harmless and banal, though we prefer to explore darker woods. We want to see but not be seen, in the true underbelly of the world.

We may visit and even promote pristine shrines of skulls, such as the catacombs of Paris; those show well on Instagram. But that is only because an engineer has designed it (thoughtfully and ingeniously, I might add) to be promotable. And what of the sewers? The unexploited dark places don’t photograph as well.

***

Each day, or most, I bring the children to the local lake. Often we are alone on the beach, those days when there is cloud, wind or rain. Each time, half the kids don’t want to come. But I force the issue, stoically as I can (which isn’t, very), and I become daily more resistant to opposition. (At least I tell myself that, here and now.)

Here is how I can test my own worth: If a deed is difficult to do, because it will meet with massive resistance, though it is the best thing to do in that moment, and I have done the deed in spite of that resistance, I have become more worthwhile.

Yesterday, at the lake, even the most initially-resistant kids were thrilled to experience reality, once immersed.

 

***

Image credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

 

 

19 thoughts on “Unearthing worth

  1. I don’t know about this thing called ‘worth’. When I was a child, I always felt ‘less-than’. As a student, I was striving, and never did seem to satisfy myself or my parents. As a man, I felt worthy, raising my family and providing care for my patients, as an old man, retired, and living on the the excess of my “productive” years, I am worthless in terms of productivity and social impact, Kids grown, grandkids grown, I am not needed. But, what is ‘worth’ anyhow? Outside of my family, a few friends, I will not be missed when I am gone. I will leave no legacy. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. and yet my life has value to me. Just sitting here writing, or taking a walk, looking at the sky, is to me, miraculous. I assume my value/worth as I can and do give love, and I am loved. That is worth something, and doesn’t require passing a test. Thanks for the topic, Dr. Bob

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a treasure of a comment, insight to span decades. I highly doubt any of us is not needed, just needed in a different ways at different times often hard to discern, and most often without immediate recognition. I think so often on my grandfather since he passed. He and I mostly did not see eye to eye when he was alive. But so many wisdoms of his which I could not stand to hear over and over again, while he was living, rise up like flowers, from ashes in my mind.

      I love what you said: “I assume my value/worth as I can and do give love, and I am loved.” Yes! That is the purest way.

      Reminds me of that old song, “Nature Boy” by Nat King Cole:

      “There was a boy
      A very strange enchanted boy
      They say he wandered very far, very far
      Over land and sea
      A little shy and sad of eye
      But very wise was he

      “And then one day
      A magic day he passed my way
      And while we spoke of many things
      Fools and kings
      This he said to me:
      The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
      Is just to love and be loved in return.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the song, Nadine. I just found it on you tube and not only is the sentiment exactly right, Nat King Cole sings it beautifully. I have concluded after decades of life, that love is the single most important factor in leading a satisfying and meaningful life. and whether or not at the end of it, you have love, or just the memory of love, you can let go gracefully. Thanks again, Love, Dr. Bob

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I too have been obsessing over self-absorbed things of late, and wasting too much time on such things. I too have pondered over my online presence, and have thought at times to deactivate my social networking and such like. I have done it before and have gained from the time away from these things but have then returned to the fold once more… 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy to hear from you, Liola! 💛Sounds like we’re on the same wavelength…it’s the same for me. I did deactivate Instagram for a while and that felt really good… but then I ended up reactivating it to connect with an old contact. Same with Facebook… deleted it in 2016, then went back on.

      If I were truly zen and had conquered ego, I think I could leave all my social media accounts active and just not worry about them or use them anymore except maybe occasionally, without really thinking about it. Definitely not there yet… and yet in general I still feel “too sensitive for social media.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Nadine! I think definitely on the same wavelength or certainly similar. I too deleted both instagram and facebook a couple of times a while back. Managed to go without for three months (not long). I got so much more done though and felt sort of liberated, then like you went back on. I contemplate life without it and it’s an attractive prospect but not yet but maybe one day. I think it’s about staying connected but sometimes I feel uninterested in it and see social networking as a time thief, if that makes sense. Good to hear from you too! Hope you are having a lovely Summer! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Totally makes sense… I ended up going back on Insta last week because one of my contacts I only could reach via instagram. that’s how ubiquitous/insidious social media is these days! Some folks just don’t do email any more. But I could also choose to see that as a sign that maybe my contacting them doesn’t need to happen.

          Hugs. Yes the summer is going well! Hope yours is too! ☀️:)

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  3. Love how you expressed it here! 🙂 I’ve definitely struggled with that unfulfilled need for peer recognition, but I’ve slowly come to terms that chasing likes just isn’t worth it in the long run. Since trying out a regular schedule for publishing & keeping to it, that’s been much more satisfying than trying to write something that aims to please everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tom! 😊
      That makes so much sense. 👍
      Though I haven’t managed to stick to a schedule yet 😬, I have certainly learned that aiming to please everyone is a surefire way to fail. Better to please ourselves, when it comes to art at least.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. *pootling*! 😂👌
      Thanks for this saving-grace comment Matthew… have been feeling ashamed ever since posting this. Mainly because I have so much drivel I want to publish, but wasn’t sure how to segue back into it. 😉😁 Excited to get back to pootling. While jonesing for your wonderful haikus. 🤓👍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I consider it getting wiser with a benefit of added experience. I always go for what pic makes I feel happy because, even when others don’t like it, I still get to appreciate me myself and I 😆😋

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pushing yourself to do hard things definitely feels good after the intial effort.
    Have you been in the ‘secret’ part of the Paris catacombs? I would like to see how it is down there, although I don’t like small spaces or rat-infested chest height water so also it may be more of a romantic idea 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed on the rewards of doing hard things! As for the catacombs, no, never have been in the secret parts… though I loved the non-secret parts well enough. Do you perchance know any cataphiles who can get me past the five dedicated police officers patrolling the access points? Then again, I’m with you on disliking crawl spaces and dank waters… definitely impedes a gal’s sense of style. 😁

      Like

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