Have you ever visited someone and when you left them you felt less of a person, discounted or discouraged? You felt like all of your energy was drained out of your body!?
Innate in every human psyche is the desire to be respected or seen as equal – just seen as a worthwhile human being from other human beings.
The one thing that stops us from having this desire satiated consistently are the stories/narratives that guide our human existence.
Here’s an example. If you believe that humans are only worthwhile if they have bought a house, have the ability to pay the bills, are the right shape, are married with kids and have a well-paying and highly “respectable job” with lots of money, then you have marked off where and when they will be stressed and how discouraged their lives will be.
If you hold to this view of worth what you’ve also marked off for your psyche is how “seemingly elevated” you will feel in the presence of someone who doesn’t have or are able to accomplish those things. It’s the reason why some people turn their noses up at homeless folk and struggling families – because of the ‘life-meaning’ narrative to which they have subscribed.
Now, I’m not saying that having those things are wrong but attaching that narrative to determine the worth of human life is a severe mistake in judgment. These narratives are the reason young people spend their money wastefully and ironically on the items that make them look like they have money! This same innate desire to be accepted/respected is the reason why some young ladies and young men would do anything for constant attention from others.
In the Bible, specifically John chapter 5, Jesus says that we should come to him so He can give us life. In that passage of scripture Jesus was observing that the words of God weren’t in the leaders with whom he was speaking. The reason that the word of God weren’t in them, Jesus said, was because the people would rather gain their honor and receive recognition of their true self from one another but not from God. Our experiences are driven by that desire! (See John 5:41-44)
What if we held on to the narrative that God gave: We find our truest nature in loving one another. That’s a worthwhile human being. Why? Because no one will leave their presence discouraged, discounted or feeling less than.