Recognizing Value And Importance

Lesson number: 

Why do we have to lose someone or something to recognize their value and importance? Or why do we take so many important things around us for granted, realizing their true value only when they are gone forever? In this week's lesson, we will delve into becoming more aware of what's really important in our lives and why we should cherish and protect what's valuable to us.

Let's begin our discussion with the attitude of the typical worker in the United States. Generally, employees take their job and the company they work for, for granted. They generally believe their paycheck will always be there as long as they perform their designated assignments. Workers often complain about trivial things and overlook the economic value of their job in relation to their lives. Then the country hits an economic downturn, as we are now experiencing and millions of people may their jobs as companies make staff reductions or perhaps close their doors forever. Suddenly those workers that complained about their company lose their job and realize how valuable and important it really was. Why does it take losing something to realize its true value?

The same scenario plays out with personal relationships. People have a tendency to complain about their spouse, parents, children, relatives or co-workers. They focus on what's negative about these people, often overlooking the valuable role they play in their lives. Then one day a spouse, parent or child passes away and all of a sudden their value and importance is realized. All the little things they did and the love and happiness they contributed are gone forever. Why did it take so long to realize their value?

Understanding the meaning of the word scarce can help us to focus on value and importance. Scarce means deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand. We take air, water, freedom, jobs, relationships or money for granted unless we view them as being scarce and very difficult to acquire. Being aware of scarcity, helps you value people and things while you have them available.

The law of supply and demand shows that the larger the supply of something, the less it will tend to be valued. For example, marble is very expensive in the U.S., yet in Italy it is used for street curbs. Because the supply is so abundant in Italy, marble is valued much less than in the U.S. This law applies to every single thing in life. If a person came up to you with a jug filled with water, and offered it to you for $1,000, would you make the trade? No; because water is so plentiful, the monetary value that you put on it is probably pretty low.

We place a high value on things that are scarce or things we don't yet have. Then, after we get the object of our desires, it immediately begins its decline on our value scales and we put a higher value on the next thing that we want, but don't yet have. Love and marriage is a great example. People fall in love and can't wait to get married. They place a high value on their relationship. Then time passes and the value sinks as they take each other for granted and focus on what they dislike about each other rather than the good assets each has. Before you know it, the relationship is dissolved. Only after the relationship ends, do they each realize the value of the spouse they lost.

But what if you don't want to lose value for something that you've struggled for? What if you ALWAYS want to place a high value on your spouse, or a new car, or a job? Are you doomed by the laws of supply and demand to automatically lose value for the things that you now HAVE? Happily, the answer is: No!

If you want to maintain a high value for something, you most certainly can. All you have to do is take some time out of each day to be GRATEFUL! Take time to REMEMBER your earlier struggles. Think about all of the obstacles that you overcame to get what you have. You'll immediately feel gratefulness for all that you have. If you truly value your husband or wife, but haven't been expressing it lately; don't fret; it's supply and demand. Take time to remember what life was like without him or her and the joy that you experienced when you first got together. Think about the great assets your spouse possesses. Then be grateful and show that person again how much you love them.

Gratitude prevents the loss of value. In fact when you feel grateful for something, you are expressing that you still truly value it. Just because you have it doesn't diminish its importance to you.

So keep striving for the next big thing. That's what life is all about and why Nature attached so much joy to achieving and getting things. But always remain GRATEFUL for what you already have. By doing so, you'll MAINTAIN a high value on all of the things in your life that are really important to you and your well being.