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  • Writer's pictureKaren Shayne

Placing A Value

This weekend I said goodbye to a family matriarch.  My mother has two sisters left from the original four siblings and this weekend we had to bid farewell to one of those sisters. 

Now, all of Mom’s sisters provided beautiful lives for their children, but they were all very different.  This particular sister provided the family a somewhat, well, quiet elegance to life. I adored her class, her quietness, her impecable style and her beauty – both inside and out.  At the funeral, so many beautiful words were shared along with hilarious stories of this treasured aunt, who at age 86, gained her angel wings and was able to reunite with her loving husband of 60+ years.  Blanche Spivey Tallent was a true southern jewel and wonderful, giving person who, in the eulogy provided by her daughter and granddaughter, was noted (among many positive traits) as the one who never said a bad word about anyone and always showed Christ’s love to others. It was stated, “Mimi added so much value to her children’s lives and she showed value to others with whom her life touched.”

With all the flowers and stories of her 86 years, you can only imagine there were emotions. And like all emotions that surround a sad event, it is inevitable at some point someone is going to get their feelings hurt.  It’s kind of an expected thing in these circumstances.  This weekend of emotion was no different.  Sure enough, someone said something and the feelings hurt were deeply painful to the recipient and sadly made someone feel far from valued. 

While the rawness of the language was far from positive (and unjustified, I might add), I took some time to think about what had transpired under what circumstances and what was said, believing there had to be a message in the madness of the sadness that surrounded these words.  Thankfully, with my family values (and some obvious heavenly influence), there was quick forgiveness. But what was done was done and what was said was said.  No one could take it back.  The words were now part of history.  So, I thought about it for a while and decided to allow the incident to teach me a lesson in life and to make positive change in my heart that hopefully would better allow me to show others how much they are valued in my own life.

There’s a saying, “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” 

That is so true. 

Feeling value and feeling like one is contributing to life is important.  For me, it is a necessity - it is part of my soul – and something I never want to exist without.  I don’t know where these intense feelings of  “making a difference” in other’s life come from.  Perhaps it is the upbringing of my family where their unselfish, positive and giving nature and depth of true love has always been my influence.  Or perhaps it is something I feel a calling from God to do.  Regardless, I have to feel I am creating value to people’s lives, otherwise, I just feel lost.  For whatever the reason may be, I know one thing.  I am the happiest with I feel I positively contribute to a life and am very saddened when I feel I have negatively contributed.  It is so hard for me to accept how sometimes I fail in my words or actions.

Even with the best of intentions, there are times we are often too busy living our own lives to remind people how important they are in our lives and how much they are valued. And while we all choose to do different things in private life with our careers, one thing is for sure, we must feel value with those who surround us.

I am not a fan of reality series’ anymore.  While they were cool at the beginning (and I do believe there is no reality in a reality series) the people in those roles have become increasing negative and even cruel.  What I do firmly believe is the role they are playing is one of a tragic role, influencing the younger generation to be about themselves no matter who gets hurt and a role that will ultimately lead to a society I fear will not value people on any level.  It seems on most of these series', everyone is shallow and characters are disposable.  For those who know me, you know I am much more a Hallmark Movie Network kinda gal.  Maybe I live in some crazy, unrealistic world where I think you can still find some type of value in life and value in people which can still be seen in the even the somewhat dated dramas like Matlock or even Murder, She Wrote.

But, in recent days, I have also been led to see our value can’t be based on someone who can’t see our worth.  We should mindful we also can’t constantly be trying to prove our worth to others.  If we are trying too hard to prove ourselves, we are the one’s withholding the words and actions of value to others who might need us.

As I helped dry tears of those I deeply love this weekend while drying many of my own, I made the decision that I will be more conscious of how I add value to those who accept it and be more mindful where I can’t and allow others to add the value where I may fall short, for my value may be needed by someone else at that point and time.

Now for an apology.  Words can hurt.  Whether they are true or untrue or whether they take place in high emotional moments or in the day-to-day life of living, words can do damage that can’t be undone  - and for me, I saw firsthand that lesson be painfully learned.  And while forgiveness can thankfully be also sealed with words accompanied by a hug and a smile, my prayer now is that I may I always be aware that words can also minimize the representation of character of someone – which often times can be far more harder to repair when trying to show and be shown value.  That's a hard and sad lesson for anyone to learn. And you know what?  None of us are perfect.  We have all done it at one time or another.  That's what makes us human.  But for those who I may have hurt with my words in any way, I am truly sorry.  For those I have ever made feel less than the valued as a person, I want to apologize.  But more than an apology, I will take the direction Christ has laid out for us to do and not just say I am sorry, but truly right the wrong and grow from it. I promise today to certainly be more mindful and aware of how easy it is to make a person feel less special and de-valued and yet how much more wonderful it can be to appreciate, cherish and honor those in your life who are willing to give you a nod for the the value you bring to their life.  

Lots of lessons for sure, but one thing I hope that comes out of this read today.  My hope is that you go tell someone how much they mean to you today and how much they are valued  They may just need it and it may change someone’s perspective, value of themselves or even their life.

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