Friday, April 19, 2013

To value or not to value? Why is this even a question?

In his 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) presentation on "Why we make bad decisions," Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert said something that really resonated with me. He said, "Comparison only changes the value of what's in front of us." He then of course continued explaining the science behind making choices.

In the scientific information presented, the data was from how comparison changes the value of monetary things like entertainment, equipment, cars, and the like. Eventually he broadened the application of it.

The entire time though, that line repeated in my head and I was applying the impact to my personal life.

"Comparison only changes the value 
of what's in front of us."

Every time I think about it, I'm left emotionally stunned.

The concept is applicable to everything, but the image that seems to stick in my mind, with regards to this quote, is me watching and admiring beautiful people while simultaneously conjuring an image of me in my mind's eye. Once I have the image, the comparison begins.

So in this example of comparison, it is my own personal value that decreases. I say decreases because very rarely is it anything different.

In reality though, the value of any person isn't any more or less than another. You are more than a body, a profession, or where you live. We are all of great value to someone. Why not love ourselves for who we are, just as we are. Why not love ourselves? After all, someone else does.

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