Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Idea of Value can be just plain Confusing!

I was speaking with a respected and wonderful colleague today. We are working on doing some business together in a way that's definitely a win-win. He and his business have skills I don't and the opposite is also true.

One of the things that was reinforced for me during our appointment is simply how hard the concept of value is for most of us to wrap our minds around.

Inherent value, a worthiness that exists simply due to existence, is a concept that receives a lot of lip service. Sometimes in religion the idea is espoused, occasionally you hear the idea in political or social realms. Typically the idea is followed by something so antithetical to the reality of value that the words get completely lost in the actions and admonitions that follow.

Here's a personal example--with names changed to protect all of us!

I have a long-term friend who chose to make some radical changes in life. These changes had medical, social, familial and financial impacts. Many people were touched as result of these choices being made and followed up on.

As a result, I got a chance to really decide if and why I'd remain friends with this person. It was not an easy wrestle. My life was one of those that got rocked from trust to finances as a result of the choices and changes.

I realized that how I felt about the choices wasn't even the point. My disagreement or agreement with them wasn't what was really getting tested. My perspective was being tested to find out if I valued this person as an individual apart from what what said, done, or intended. Since I don't have children, perhaps I came to this late or simply needed this situation to gather this lesson. I discovered that the only way I could be true of myself was to continue as this person's friend even as choices hurtled the person down paths I couldn't see or understand.

Regardless anything else, this individual had inherent value simply by existing.

You know what shocked me the most? A number of people close to me were adamant that what I needed to do was break off all contact. What was the BEST thing to do was to never see, speak or even email with this person ever again.

I was beyond surprised. I was shocked. After really wrestling and doing a lot of soul-searching to reach my decision, I felt blind-sided by the opinions. This was explained to me with everything from bible verses to quoted psychological principles.

As a result, I felt really sad that what had been a pivotal process and learning seemed inaccessible to some of the people closest to me (blessings be not all of them). And I felt so confused over the demand by others to change my mind regarding the value of a single person and my relationship to that decision.

No doubt it's just as confusing to being working with the idea of experiencing your own inherent value! The inherent value of the planet and the resources of our world. We've lived in a cost-centric, humanity-serving model for a long time.

I'd ask that while you commit to making this change in mindset and awareness in your life, that you also be gentle with yourself along the way. It's not about always getting it right. It's not about righting all the wrongs NOW! This is beyond a shadow of a doubt about increasing your ability to recognize and experience value apart from the measurement of consumer cost.

It's okay for this to be a two-steps forward, 1 step back process. If anyone says it will always be forward momentum, it's time to be a bit more skeptical. That's probably hype and not authenticity.

Heidi Sue Roth
Coaching business from a radical, maverick perspective

© Copyright 2009-2010 Heidi Sue Roth. All Rights Reserved.

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