"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Do You Have Value?

Value: relative worth, merit, or importance: the value of a college education; the value of a queen in chess

The simple answer to the question: "Do you have value?" is yes. We all have value. But, do we really believe that (yes you can start a sentence with "but"). Think of the countless times we have heard people state that they were worthless. Think of the times you and I have said aloud, or quietly thought, we were worthless. Maybe most people have never had those thoughts or spoke those words, but I have. One doesn't have to experience the rejection of a potential employer, a former mate, or by a child (I think it is important to note that these examples were not intended to be autobiographical) too often to realize that it is very easy to think of ourselves in a negative and damaging way. 

Epictetus, the Greek philosopher of the first century, was recorded in the Enchiridion as saying that "men are disturbed, not by things, but by the view they take of them." Did you notice that he didn't mention women as being disturbed? My wife says that there is a reason and strong factual data to support why he didn't mention women. Anyway, Proverbs 23:7 states: "as he thinketh in his heart, so he is". So it has been, since very early on, that we are often encouraged or plagued by our own thoughts.

It's been over a week since I last blogged. The reason for this is the question of "value" (particularly mine) has been on my mind since we last chatted (chat? My Dad would tell me that I'm being "too cute by a half" right now). Before anyone starts to email me and tell me that I have tremendous value (or that I suck and that I have no value) please don't...I'm not looking for any feedback or encouragement. Besides, I already know how great I can't believe I just said that. Who uses "lol" in a highbrow blog such as this one? This is not some loser social media outlet like twitter or Facebook...BTW, anyone reading this, and finds "value", please make sure to send out a link to this website to your entire Facebook nation (ask each one of your "friends" to do the 8000+ "friends" have been extremely cooperative) and at the risk of sounding dirty please make sure to "tweet" as often as possible: Wow, that was the mother of all tangents.

I apologize.

The point that I was trying to make before I so rudely interrupted myself (exhale) was that while I was holding my precious little daughter, Reese, earlier this week, and as we locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity, I found myself asking the question; "will I be of any value to my daughter?...will I be enough?"

Aunt jOjO  &  Baby Reese  
...Easter Sunday (2010)

Everyone realizes how important the role parents play in a child's emotional, physical, spiritual, & mental development. As a father I realize the huge impact I will have on my children's lives. Study after study point this fact out. The 2009 U.S. Census Bureau states that "one out of every three children" live in a "fatherless" home. Studies also report that the number one predictor for poverty is a fatherless home and that 85% of African Americans living under the poverty line are single family homes. Lastly, fatherless daughters are 92% more likely to experience divorce once married and are 200% more likely to have emotional and psychological problems. 

Yes, I realize that there are exceptions to every rule; and no, my wife and I are doing just fine.

It just that there are times that I wonder, after all the mistakes and bad decisions that I've made over a lifetime, if I will be enough? Will I always be employed? Will I always be patient and understanding? Will my actions match my words? Will I be of value to my family? I hope and pray that the answer will be yes..."as he thinketh in his heart, so he is".

In the book "Self Talk", by David Stoop, he lays out, in complete detail, the "ABC's" of our emotions.

Stoop states that "all too often our attitudes are the by-product of our experiences in an out-of-control world". Many of us can feel helpless and that things are out of control. We can, if not careful, feel hopeless and worthless during these times. The ABC's of our emotions will often dictate how we feel about a certain situation or even about ourselves. Take for example the failure of someone to return a phone call:

Activating event----- (A) Failure to return phone call

      (Leads to)

Belief system---------(B) Stimulating thoughts such as:

                                        -They don't want to talk to me.
                                        -They don't like me.
                                        -They think I have body odor. Do I?
                                        -What we choose to think is limitless.

      (Leads to)

Consequences -------(C) I feel hurt and rejected.

The reason for the hurt and rejection is because of a poor belief system. We could just as easily believe that our call wasn't returned because they had to work late or that their cell phone was turned off for lack of payment (again, any and all comments or examples are not intended to be autobiographical). 

The premise here is that I can "think" myself of a cliff or into the penthouse at a Ritz Carlton. It's all up to me and what I choose to think. Our thoughts create our emotions, affect our behavior, and shapes are attitudes. The preconceived notions and thoughts we entertain are often based on our past experiences. History doesn't always have to repeat itself in our lives. We all have the ability to put the past behind us and not let it affect our future, in a negative way, but only be used to remind us that we are all too human and we are destined to fail and be failed by others. Our goal should always be to learn from those mistakes and to become more mature...more humble. 

So here it is; we all have value, God tells us this much in John 3:16; "that God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die for our sins". He also tells us in his word "that we have a future and a hope". For those of you reading this that might not have a deep faith in God or a strong belief in the bible the fact still remains that we all have tremendous value...a value to God and to those around us. We are all sons and daughters, some of us are brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers. We are friends to many people and caring individuals (and if we're not, we should think about starting). 

We all have tremendous value

This doesn't give us an excuse to be arrogant; instead we should take pause and reflect upon how important it is to each one of us to be of value to someone else. After thinking about this we should become humbled. I've come to realize that my value is not in my abilities or strengths, but in God's promise that He will never "leave me nor forsake me". And, (there's that conjunction at the beginning of a sentence again) that if I keep my focus on him I will be in a position to be of more value to those around me. There is a saying in sales that if you invest in yourself you increase one's self worth, and if one's self worth is increased, the more valuable you become.The more valuable you become, the more money you will earn.

It is my sincere hope that everyone reading this will realize their value and invest in positive thinking, and join me in becoming more valuable to our family, friends, and in my case, my precious little angel, Reese Olivia Christine...the r0c in mybabyr0c.

Reese Olivia Christine

sbb  6.5.2010  (ABC  .  The Jackson 5)  .  1341

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