How Much Is That Icon Innuendo?


(Of all the images and scenes I witnessed during my ‘photo walk’ last week, this one brought to mind more ‘words’ than any of the others)

     As I passed this window, I stopped merely out of curiosity. Then as I took in all of the elements of the scene I was particularly drawn to the fact that  the statues all seemed to be looking down at the value that someone else had placed upon them. Is that what we all do? We try to assess our worth by the standards of others? These Saints and Angels don’t appear to be very happy either. Perhaps they should look up to see the world and allow their true worth to be the place that they hold in the grand scheme of things… To disavow the artificial worth of the ‘market’. It’s hard to do when we are bombarded with information that we take to be fact and have to  embrace the value that is given to us by others while tentatively clinging to what we feel in our hearts….Saints should know better than that!!! (I know, I know, these are just statues….)

       A person’s worth sometimes cannot be calculated by ‘the world’ until long after they are gone and their impact slowly seeps into the public psyche, covering it like Kudzu on a Southern roadside….(though that might not be a particularly appealing example.)

     Often the person who seems to be ‘worth’ the most in the public eye, or more pointedly, the media eye, turns out to be not so ‘worthy’ of the time, ink, film and adulation that they flash through like a 4th of July sparkler…burning down to the ashy, twisted wire at their core.

     We hear constantly about developing a person’s, particularly a child’s, ‘Self-worth’….  ‘Self-Esteem’ ..but the whole concept, while valid, has missed the mark as far as technique goes.

     I mean, you don’t swap red ink for purple in school simply so that a student won’t feel bad about answering a question wrong. That’s how we learn!  One doesn’t develop muscles by lifting feathers!

     When a mistake is made, we should be teaching that you pick yourself up, try again, or study and work until you no longer get the red mark.

(And RED is a scapegoat, NOT the culprit.   If red IS the problem, then I guess we had better do away with the red portion of traffic signals. Use purple which means, “Stop if you feel like it. But if it makes you feel better, just go right through! Don’t worry about the consequences!”)

     One of my kids had a Math teacher who would credit the answer 2+2=5 as correct because it showed that you ‘understood the concept of addition’…..Whaaaaaat? Until you get into quantum physics or beyond, Math is NOT a concept…There are rules that must be followed, or you’re wrong….plain and simple….Red X!

(Watch what happens to the adult’s self-esteem when they find that the IRS doesn’t accept the ‘conceptual’ Math that was learned in school!!)

…Besides the simple fact that ‘self-worth’ is not something that can be given…though it can be nurtured

     Hence the word ‘self’. It is earned or in some cases, merely accepted…  But, we can remove self worth by standardizing it.  The fast runner needs to slow down so everyone else ends the race at the same time…the brilliant student should twiddle their thumbs instead of forging ahead into new conquests while the others catch up…the Saint should not be quite so giving and spiritual because that COULD make the rest of us feel inadequate (Then we could all have our statues in the window)…..WRONG!  We, as spiritual beings, need ‘overachievers’, not to make everyone else look bad, but to set standards that we all might strive for.

     Don’t we all want more from ourselves?  THAT’S self-esteem…the need to better ourselves while feeling pride at our journey of progress, no matter how miniscule the steps may appear ‘on the market’, or to our peers.  How do WE feel about it!?  Not good?…push harder….TOO good?….come back down to earth…before someone hangs their value  around your neck.

     BTW, look at the picture again.  While these characters are looking down, a sword is being drawn behind them by a more colorful, flashy neighbor.  If you’re not careful, there’s always someone who feels the need to slash your price or stab you in the back….IF you allow it!

p.s.   The chemicals in the human body have been analyzed to be valued at about $4.50 in today’s market, though I found a website that states that instead of breaking the body down into chemicals, if one separates it by organs that value rises to about $45 million.(black market price)…maybe I had better not spread that around….I might find myself on ‘the block’!


~ by rkpowers on August 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “How Much Is That Icon Innuendo?”

  1. Randy, I have often wondered what mom and dad did to instill self esteem in all of us but I guess they just let us be and praised us for the good and told us to try harder when we made mistakes. I am truly thankful for their parenting. Too many people go all through life with a very low value of self. I don’t want an over inflated value either, I just want to feel I am as good and as capable as mom and dad think I am. Oh and you and Dennis think I am as well.


  2. Here,Here! Well “said”! I totally agree with you and that one needs something higher to reach or strive for. Without it one only has mediocrity. For what it’s worth, I give you a “five” for your understanding of “the concept”!


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