Discussion on the Way thought for the day, 4th March 2012: No man or woman is without value, unless they reach beyond the length of their arms, grasping nothing, and so, remaining in their poverty. (Original comment posted by Jacques in the comments section of the blog)
Jacques: Who is it that decides when a person has value?
What do you think about this? Is it perhaps not the case that both the individual themselves decides what value they have to themselves and to others, and others also determine or evaluate what value someone else has to them? We might ask, so how do they evaluate their actual worth or value?
There are some who underestimate their actual value because of impressions they have either personally accepted for whatever reason, or lack of reason, or been made to accept that position because of duress from others who find it profitable to make then do so. They may well have abilities that have never been used, but if they have been convinced that they are less worthy than others, then that is how they will tend to behave. This is devaluation of the true self.
There are others who overestimate their true value, due to a subconscious feeling of inferiority that causes then to act in an overcompensate manner by creating a false image around their being, thus giving rise to notions that surpass their actual abilities. This is called self-conceit.
In either of the above cases, the position of evaluation is incorrect, as both are working on opposing but equally unbalanced perspectives, and therefore their actual level of value, to both themselves or others, is skewed, as it does not conform to their actual reality, as it is only an imagined position. What do you think about this?
Jacques: It's not for anyone to see humans as calculable in terms of materialistic value. This is basically saying that the poor and impoverished have no value.
I would agree that it is not right to do so, but the fact is that this is done on a daily basis by many people who see others as existing solely to serve their aims of profit. This is exactly the point that the quotation is making: no one is without value, unless….
The posting itself is not talking about monetary value at all. It all depends on what you mean by impoverished. Do you mean psychologically or monetarily? If , for example, I accept that I deserve nothing more than a life of servitude and misery and have no right to expect of better, for whatever reason, then I am self-impoverished by that attitude of acceptance.
If, on the other hand, I overestimate and overcompensate for an actual deficiency in some part of my make up, as in trying to prove that I have some skill or ability beyond my actual and true capacity, then I impoverish myself by ignoring my limits in that area, and create a false value for myself. If I do that, and fail to realise what I’m doing, then I am ignoring the fact that (1) I’m doing stuff I really am not wired to do, and (2) not doing things that I would be better suited to doing, and at which I would be much happier doing them, as it is a natural ability, though unused.
Jacques: Value in this way can be calculated then into negativity when currency is used as value. Currency will equal anything material as it has value.
I agree, though the currency in the posting is not monetary; although in reality if you use your natural abilities to develop your best skills, which bring you value by what you do, then you should be able to make a living from it, or at least enjoy doing whatever it is.
In our view, there is nothing wrong with money in itself, only when we overestimate its value. Some people are bought, some hired and some are sold, depending on each one’s attitude.
Currency, be it in material or other form of mutual exchange, is what people use to trade their values, be they goods, services or simple goodwill. In The Way, our currency is goodwill, as we recognise that it is a natural part of human existence to both give and receive. We are all different according to our varying mindsets, so we give and take according to ability to do so, for common benefit, as we operate on a system of mutual exchange, so that none are left deficient in what they need, in as far as is possible.
Jacques: The only way in which to view the statement and not have grave concern of the VALUES of the mind which thought it, would be in the abstract of the mind as it goes beyond the physical restraints and grasps nothing as there is no way of calculating this on the scales you are using to measure. Is this a somewhat cold statement or is it just me.
Maybe we can look at it again, as it says: No man or woman is without value, unless they reach beyond the length of their arms, grasping nothing, and so, remaining in their poverty.
It’s fairly obvious that grasping at things is not being successful, not reaching the thing required, which is basically failure. Now, would you not think that if you fail to be able to do something, then it must mean that you did not have the resources or abilities to enable the thing being successful? The question we might then ask, is ‘Why?’ Is it because we didn’t develop the abilities required, due to the fact that we neglected to build on our natural talents, or that we overstretched our actual level of ability and fell flat on our face because we bit off more than we could chew, and failed because we failed to recognise this fact?
Either way, the result is failure, and the aim of the thought behind the saying itself shows that we devalue ourselves if we fail to recognise our limits. Being aware of our limits can allow us to consider if we have the wherewithal to do what we need to do, and then judge accordingly, and make a decision where failure might be avoided, due to the holding a balanced attitude. Overreaching obviously causes imbalance.
Alternately, if we don’t have the skills and don’t have the time or patience to improve on the ones we have, then we can look for someone else who already has them, and save ourselves a lot of time and grief, would you not agree? If I know this, it increases my actual value, as I’m not chasing notions of being something I’m not, and I add value to the abilities of the person I am willing to pay or barter with, by helping them to use their talents further, so it’s win-win, no loss, all around.
Jacques: Can we not say, even if they have no value in this aspect, everyone is rich in their history, be it good or bad. The value of good is equal to bad, the aspect of applying the positive and negative is what is important. One is above zero and the other equally below zero.
I’m not clear as to what someone’s previous history has to do with their current value in this context. Surely if they have increased their value by developing their mind and skills, then what they are now will lead on to their being valuable in whatever context they are now in? It’s basically cause and effect. If they are deficient, then the deficiency is theirs, surely?
Are you also saying that the aim is to apply positive and negative equally? Surely that would in in no net gain or improvement, but if that is the case, where is the profit of increased value? Could you perhaps explain a little further?
Jacques: By whose standards are we being measured,and for what reasons.
By our own standards or lack of them, and by our own reasons, or lack of them. Reason acts in accordance to knowledge, so to evaluate or measure something, we need to know exactly what it is that we are looking to evaluate. It all depends on the stories we tell ourselves about what we think ourselves to be. Can we tell the difference between fact and fantasy? Can we live comfortably with ourselves if we know that we are doing less then our abilities allow?
Jacques: If one is offered opportunity there are so many forgivable reasons for letting what is grasped slip through ones fingers.
Maybe you can give an example or examples of such a situation, as I’m not sure of what you mean. Who forgives us if we fail to do something, and why should they?
Jacques: To give value to a human in this way is not positive for us as a race, and I hope I have not been measured like this, for if so, i am the red big time.
As said previously, it is we who ascribe value to what we are or are not. We all judge ourselves according to our attitude to ourselves. How do you or I measure ourselves? By what criteria? If someone suspects that they might be ‘in the red’, then there are two choices open to them: stay in the red, or improve, and move into ‘the black, with ‘the black’ being a metaphor for added value.
Jacques: You can offer many things to a person but if it's so kryptic they dont grasp it then the fault of them remaining in poverty is because assumptions have been made and criteria set out but withheld from the grasper if you like. So it remains that one will take only what one understands and recognises but one must strive to educate in a way understood by various levels of intillect so that he will recognise what he is meant to be grasping.
It is true that if you give someone some cryptic thing that they have no ability to understand, then there is a fault with the person doing the giving. Responsibility for communication rests with both parties, and if a teacher makes a proposal that is designed to cause the student to fail, then that shows the teacher in a poor light. They should realise what he or she is doing, and make sure that the concept is understood if the student is having difficulty with it. The aim is to enable the student to grasp the substance of what is being presented in fact, so long as it is factual or reasonable, and not have the student grasp blindly at something that is an unformed idea as presented by the teacher, as this is poor instruction. Would you not agree?
On the other hand, it is also the responsibility of the student to ask for clarification if he or she does not clearly, or only partially, understands the ideas presented. Surely responsibility for mutual understanding is on both parties?
Jacques: If you never see it how on earth would one know it. Makes this rather unfair I think.
I don’t really understand what is being said here. Can you explain what ‘it’ is, and what thing is unfair?
Jacques: I will take from this that trickery in language and expoitation of grammar is what i must be more aware of.
You are of course free to take or not take whatever interpretation you wish, as that is everyone’s choice, but I wonder why you would assume that there is some form of trickery going on. Or maybe that is not what you are saying?
Grammar, as a system of study of language construction, is important, as it deals with the relative order of the words, and therefore the ideas and meanings behind the arrangement of the words, which in turn convey meaning. Incorrect use of grammar will inevitably convey incorrect or only partially conveyed meaning. Let’s take a look at the main elements of the thought for the day again:
The saying simply is as it is:
No man or woman is without value (all have value),
-unless (except for when)
– they reach beyond the length of their arms (extend their reach past their actual ability to reach),
-grasping nothing (failing to grasp the thing, or succeeding in not grasping the thing),
-and so (consequently),
– remaining in their poverty (staying within the confinement of their deficiency or inability to grasp/acquire the thing or idea).
The actual meaning behind the statement or thought is about the recognition of the fact that to be able to reach further, then we have to extend our ability to reach the desired thing, but only according to our increased ability to do so by way of improvement, which is a choice. If we know that we are doing something to less than our ability to do so, and choose to not do anything about it, then surely we can’t blame anyone else for not being worth as much to ourselves or others as we might wish to be?
Jacques: I actually thought in this instance it was rather aged. In fact it is that point exactly that shows why some remain in poverty of,¦,¦.whatever.
Can you please clarify as to what exactly you considered to be ‘aged, and what ‘point’ shows why some remain in poverty?
Thanks again for taking the time to post. If someone is at least questioning, then they are at least thinking, which is what it’s all about.