The Worth of a Man

What is the worth of a man? Why should it concern me? Who cares?

These are fair enough responses to such a vague and seemingly irrelevant topic. After all being worthy is only of concern to old men on their deathbeds who have nothing else to think about, or religious folk who are obsessed by an afterlife only to be attained after an assessment of their worthiness. I’m young, why should I care?

It’s simple really. Contentment and satisfaction only follows from living a worthy life. All else is illusion. Material success, self-indulgent pleasures and indifference to other people are all temporary states which do nothing to contribute to a persons sense of their own worth and any perceived happiness or joy is a temporary thing, seemingly supported by these ideals only for the supports to fall away in the slightest breeze of self awareness.

It is unfortunate that ‘the worth of a man’ is often considered to be an idea associated with religion or spiritualism. It is not something very often considered in the world of the secular. Why is that? It should not be for Harry Potter’s Dumbledore to inform me that a mans actions define him, or as Bertrand Russell put it ‘let me live through action, breathe through thought.’ This should be our over riding ambition in every thing we do. We should be able to sit back and reflect on the positive things we have done, examine our worth, but on a continuous basis. This does not happen. We are instead overwhelmed by the desire of the moment, by the business of life. Our natural abilities to examine and reflect, labelled in part as our conscience, is forced to a part of ourselves only revealed in therapy sessions, or in the confessional. We can not tell what we are worth.

I can examine, criticise, understand, resist, choose, imagine and create. It is through these things that I am, we all are, superior to the seemingly resistless forces of outside agendas. These things are what I am. What I do with them defines what I am worth.

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