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You are worth more than you know

Those of us who are my age and older (late 40s-plus) often bemoan “the younger generations” spending too much time on social media. Their lives revolve around how many “likes” and such they get online to determine their immediate self worth.

But let’s be honest, people of every age often do the same.

We rely on the affirmation and reassurances we get from others, our jobs, our families, to measure our self worth.

The selfie 16-year-old Katie Jo posted got 120 likes? People love her. It got only three? Ouch, self worth could be plummeting.

The casserole 81-year-old Wanda Lynn brought to the potluck was eaten up faster than anything else on the smorgasbord? People love her. It was only picked at and few people sampled it? Ouch, self worth could be plummeting.

Billy Bob, 25, posts a photo of the bass he caught on a recent fishing trip. 75 likes? You bet he’s awesome. One like? Thanks, Mom. Sigh.

Bobby Bill, 67, builds a gazebo by hand and puts it in the front yard. Neighbors stop by to comment on it and admire his handiwork and BB is over the moon. No one says anything so he mentions it to a neighbor and they say, “Oh, yeah. Saw that thing. Wondered what it was.” The frown on BB’s face can be felt by his grandchildren.

It’s one thing to be slightly disappointed in the reactions of others. It’s one thing to be encouraged by the accolades of the same.

But when we start building our self worth on these things, we’re in dangerous waters. If we’re not careful, we might drown.

I remember my parents teaching me — not just telling me once, but reinforcing it across my childhood and teen years — that I was a person of worth, and nothing anyone else said or did could change that simple fact. It couldn’t even change even if I did not believe it myself.

God had created me. The Bible taught that our Creator crafted humans to be his companions, and made them “in his image.” If I was made to be his companion and was made in his image, then I had to be valuable — “of worth” — de facto.

They took this lesson a step further, however. They told me no one was worth more than me. No one was worth less than me.

That meant I couldn’t put others down because they held the same intrinsic value I held. I shouldn’t put anyone else on a figurative pedestal, either, because no matter how much value I placed in them, they were worth no more than me. We were equals, intrinsically.

My father held doors open for other people — not just women or people carrying packages or someone walking with a cane or in a wheelchair — for anyone. He taught me to do the same. I taught my children to do the same.

I complimented my 18-year-old Sunday evening because as we left a convenience store I held the door for two approaching people. She said, “I’ve got it, Dad,” and took the door from me, smiling. The man entered, ignoring her, and the woman said “Thank you” as she passed. My daughter smiled and I knew it was genuine. She helped because it’s part of who she is.

The reason my dad held the door for others, and passed that on to us, was not just because he’s polite, or a Southern gentleman — it’s because he believes others are worth as much as he is.

You are a person of worth. Yes, you. No one is worth more or less than you. Don’t treat others as if they are not as good as you. That’s terrible behavior. And don’t treat yourself as if you’re not worth as much, either. That’s just as bad.

Don’t let your self worth be based on someone else’s opinions, either. You are worth so very much.

Don’t forget it.

Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5307.