What is My Value?  

By Abel M. Ghebreyesus, BA, MHI, LSSGB

No… no... I am not asking “how much am I worth?”. Please do not take it with that sense. I am referring the “value” as in a lifelong principles to guide a person’s life and critical decisions, even daily moments that would fulfill our sense of living. As one scholar puts it: “Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.”   I am referring the question of value in relation to what the Lord Jesus revealed to us that guide us both in critical decision and even in the mundane part of life.

Most people, or to be specific, most young people ask, “what do I want?” This question comes in different forms, either directly in such format or indirectly with a form of other similar questions. Do I want to go to join a summer music club or a soccer camp?. Do I need to have a job and have money or save the energy and stay home? Do I need to study Accounting or Marketing? Do I need to join a medical school or run my family business? …… The questions are endless.

That indefinite list of queries from everyday bits and pieces to career decisions, in a number of cases, met with displeasure after some time. A young person who is at a high school, who usually asks “do I want to have a job and have money?” met with an instant reality that money cannot buy

the ultimate happiness. A salesperson who sells products to customers with misleading facts, who also gets additional bonus from his company, finds him/herself struggles with the conscience to respond to the internal question of wrong doing – of course as long as misleading people is not considered as “a right thing to do”.

That is why, instead of asking “what do I want”, it is better to ask “what is my value?” in search of long term happiness. Identifying and understanding the values makes it easy to decide important decisions; and it can meet with better satisfaction level.

The Bible puts it this way: “ “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. " Psalm 37:4. Similarly, the word of God teaches us how important it is to talk to God when deciding major decisions. It says: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 ? If “what is my value" directly relates to happiness, then bringing God in the middle of big or small decision will always bring, in a long term, better satisfaction. “When the things that you do and the way you behave matches your values, life is usually good – you're satisfied and content. But when these don't align with your personal values, that's when things

feel... wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness” said Ann Loehr in her “How to Live with Purpose, Identify your values and improve your Leadership” article. They should determine one’s priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures a young person or any person uses to tell if one’s life is turning out the way an individual wants it to.

Such value-based question happens every day to anyone. However, young people are the one who needs them most, because they are still laying out the foundations of their life. Every decision, any decision for that matter, will have its own effect down the road. You may have heard it was said, "for every action, there is reaction." By this measure, reckless decision, ungodly decision will in the long run are not helpful. But our Holy Church is here to helping, directing and guiding us from making serious mistake. The goal focused life is a short lived happiness; rather a value focus life is source of never ending happiness.

When applying to your post-secondary education, your next job, your next summer trip, your vacation, your friend (s), your next partner in life, ask the question: “what is my value?”