Wellness — January 19, 2023 at 4:00 pm

The Currency of Self


What is it with our obsession to quantify worth? Since the dawn of the earliest human civilizations, worth is a currency we’ve travelled in for everything from natural “resources” and the objects around us, to our very identities.

The fallout of this behavior is of course that anyone or anything viewed to have no value either gets overlooked or discarded. We’re continually auditing and re-organizing our lives, spaces, and minds – especially this time of year – in an effort to clear the way and declutter that which no longer serves our highest good.

The question I’ve found myself pondering most deeply over these last several years is what makes humanity worth it? My writing this now certainly seems uncanny when I hear all the Generative AI and Chat GPT technology narratives going on right now. The “what makes humanity” part of my question is something broken down for us simply at school, but we inherently know it’s much more than physical attributes like opposable thumbs. It’s heatedly debated by scientists to this day when we achieved our Behavioral Modernity and how it sets us apart from other animal species.

My question also echoes a well-known beauty ad campaign, and ironically, perceived beauty is one of many metrics our society uses to categorize self-worth. So are concepts like fitness and body type, intellectualism, creative prowess, as well as financial or business acumen to name a few. And then there’s the second part of the question…being worthy of what? To what end? What are we trying to be worthy of? What are all these comparisons and categorizations supposed to add up to anyway? This is a loaded question in and of itself, to which any number of spiritual believers have their own answers.

Actress, Thandiwe Newton shared an eye-opening view into worth during her 2011 TedGlobal talk on the topic of Embracing Otherness. There, she referred to “the Self” as a projection of others’ projections, something that’s constantly evolving and changing to navigate the world.

She makes sense when she talks of all the times we can “lose our Selves” in the doing of something or enjoyment of a moment, suggesting that perhaps we can achieve a oneness and find our true human essence in presence. We become one with the totality of the experience, as an article on chopra.com refers to it.

“Let’s not be freaked out by our bountiful nothingness,” she said. “It’s more a reality than the ones our Selves have created.”

So, in answer to my own question, I think it’s our oneness, not our differences that makes humanity something magical and miraculous; our ability to tap into that state. It’s in our very nature to keep reaching, questioning, and evolving, and in 2023 my one resolution and goal is to take more time to connect to this feeling, no matter where I am; to dive deeper than my Self to become one with being alive.

Written By Melanie Robitaille

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