Tag Archives: Water

How to Determine Your Worth as a Person

Sotheby's art auction London

What’s it worth? Everyone gets to decide for themselves. Just like we do about ourselves. (Image/Art Market Monitor)

Let’s pretend I possess the world’s largest diamond collection.

Because diamonds have high market value, I would be “worth” a lot of money.

But why are diamonds valuable? They’re stones. Like the ones we skip across ponds or kick to the side of the trail.

Simple supply and demand, which I understood but didn’t actually get in high school economics class.

When many people want something not readily available, prices go up. “Value” goes up. It’s why there are empty seats at every Cleveland Indians regular season game, but you have to pay double or triple for standing-room only tickets for playoff games.

Diamonds are rocks. They’re extremely valuable as precious stones coveted by high-end jewelers and gem collectors. But they’re just rocks.

Just like paper money or treasury bonds or gold coins, diamonds aren’t worth anything during disasters or in a post-apocalyptic society. Diamonds are useful for looking pretty (and cutting things; but mostly just looking pretty).

Water, for example, is a much more useful substance than diamonds. Water provides life-sustaining support to plant and animal life. Our bodies are primarily composed of water. Water is fundamental to Life being a thing.

Without diamonds, everyone just buys ruby and emerald engagement rings.

Without water, everything dies and turns into a Sandbox of Horribleness.

Sometimes called the Diamond-Water Paradox, diamonds and water best demonstrate the contradiction of water having MUCH more usefulness and intrinsic value than diamonds, but most of us dump water out on the ground or down sink drains every day.

And diamonds are among our highest-valued financial possessions.

The Paradox of Value, it’s called.

So, you tell me: What has greater value? Diamonds or water?

Value—What Something is Worth—Is Purely Subjective

In other words, you get to decide.

Listen, water is totally more valuable than diamonds. Right? Right.

But if the Diamond Fairy and Water Fairy both show up at my house offering me a bucket of their finest offerings, I’m telling the Water Fairy to go kick rocks.

If I was dying of thirst in an ocean of desert sand, I’d probably make a different choice.

A longtime reader went through a recent break-up, she said in her email. She said it was the second break-up that ended with her walking away and feeling as if the guys weren’t fighting for her or their relationship.

That made her feel shitty.

She said this: “Please just tell me—am I worth something? I’m so lonely and sad. I ask myself, ‘What is wrong with me that I’m not being valued?’ It’s so hard.”

I get it.

I put on a pretty good show because I’m not the crying lame-ass I was four years ago when the sky was falling at home. Because I’m “healed” now, I probably seem less pathetic and “okay” to casual observers.

But when I realized what my wife was choosing over being married to me, and what she was sacrificing as far as her time with her son as part of that choice, I got to feel the full brunt of hardcore human rejection for the first time in life.

It blew ass.

And I’m still…recovering? Coping? Coming to terms with myself?

I don’t know.

I just know that I now understand what it looks and feels like to let other people influence how we feel about ourselves.

If she’s choosing THAT, how much can I really be worth?

Other People Don’t Get to Decide

I had a problem with this idea for most of my life.

And it’s not the first time I’ve written about it.

Because football is wildly popular, nationally televised, and generates billions of dollars in advertising, merchandise and ticket sales; I thought it was reasonable to tell my wife she was wrong when she preferred something else.

If she liked some derpy, cliché-riddled romantic comedy better than some spectacularly awesome movie I liked, I would use some metric to “prove” my favorite was more valuable than hers (if they contradicted each other), like the number of positive movie reviews or a big box-office haul.

Let me be clear—I wasn’t trying to “win.” I was trying to convince her to like all of the same things as me because it was super-inconvenient that we mostly didn’t like the same things, and I wanted to change that without me having to become an accomplished ballroom dancer or snow skier.

It didn’t work.

I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because people like different things, and telling someone their opinions and preferences are “wrong” generally doesn’t make people magically change all of their personal tastes.

But…Why?

The 4 Kinds of Value

There might be more variations. I don’t know.

But I believe it looks like this:

1. Intrinsic Value – the concept of something having worth “in itself” or “in its own right.”

I believe human beings have intrinsic value. When people have intrinsic value, we don’t rape, murder, steal, injure, defraud, defame, or otherwise harm them. As a general rule. So I think it’s a nice belief.

2. Market Value – a constantantly fluctuating metric based primarily on supply and demand.

3. Personal Value to Other People

4. Personal Value to Me

So…

What’s Your Worth?

If you believe what I believe, you have intrinsic value by virtue of being a living, breathing human being.

Your market value depends ENTIRELY on context. If you are the world’s best computer programmer, you’re going to be the coolest and most “valuable” person in the room at your next conference or hackathon, but maybe you suck at other things, like long-distance swim races, or building a deck, or training K-9 unit police dogs.

Your personal value to other people?

I care about what others think of me. More than I should. Even strangers. But when I get really intentional and thoughtful about it, I inevitably come to the conclusion that no one else’s opinions matter.

Some people eat cabbage and sauerkraut and canned spinach on purpose.

Some people think chocolate tastes bad.

Some people think ultra-tight skinny jeans look good on men.

If disagreeing with them is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I can only conclude: If the concept of VALUE is purely subjective, then only an individual can determine her or his own worth; and others’ opinions (or possibly just what we mistakenly think they are) are unreliable and irrelevant data points in the equation.

I know it hurts when you break up.

I know it hurts when people you like don’t seem to like you back.

I know it hurts when people seem to value a relationship less than you.

But I also know that girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, friends, strangers nor anyone nor anything else on earth gets to decide what you’re worth.

What she’s worth.

What he’s worth.

What I’m worth.

You do.

I do.

Diamonds or water?

We decide.

I can’t tell you what to believe. But I can encourage you to decide that you matter, since your opinion is the only one that counts.

 

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The Pee Problem

peeing-statue

Because I’m sometimes unreliable and don’t always follow through with things, I am getting serious about my body for the third time since my divorce.

The first time I got serious, I did absolutely nothing. I just wrote that I was serious one time. That was all I did.

The second time I got serious, I got back into a regular workout routine. A little cardio and a little weightlifting. Nothing too intense. I’m not trying to be a bodybuilder. I just want to look good naked.

Fine. And with clothes on. I got close, but then let the holidays derail my efforts. I felt myself slipping back into lazy,­ you’re-gonna-get-fat! mode.

The third time I got serious was a week or so ago.

I told a couple people I was doing this for accountability reasons.

June 1, Baby

You’re totally going to want me on June 1.

Okay. If you’re a heterosexual female, or a dude who wants dudes, you’re totally going to want me on June 1.

Okay. If you’re a heterosexual female, or a dude who wants dudes, and don’t discriminate against 5’9” divorced guys with a kid rocking the suburban middle-class lifestyle like a boss, you’re totally going to want me on June 1.

I picked an arbitrary date. I figured I needed to be in swimming-pool shape by June. Right? Right.

I’m doing what I always do: I’m waking up early and doing cardio. Lift weights. I’m reducing my calories and exercising more-disciplined eating habits.

But I’m also doing something I’ve never done before: Drinking a lot of water.

This is a Thing, Apparently

A quick Google search will show you a variety of people who swear by a gallon-of-water-per-day 30-day challenge. Without changing any other facet of their lifestyle, people are losing 10-15 pounds just by adding a gallon of water to their daily habits. I have a couple friends who swear by it, also.

So, instead of sipping hot coffee all day, I’m having a cup in the morning and then drinking water the rest of the day. Four 32-ounce water bottle fill-ups. It’s infinitely easier to do than expected.

There’s just one problem.

My Bladder Suffers from Dwarfism

Turns out, I just don’t drink much. Of anything. Been this way my entire life. I drink water or Gatorade or whatever when I’m thirsty. I drink coffee fairly often because it’s the world’s greatest beverage. I drink energy drinks when I need to stay awake for the next five hours. And I drink beer, wine and liquor socially and am generally more awesome (almost certainly just in my own head) when I do.

I started drinking beer regularly as a college freshman and that’s when I learned about this biological defect.

I drink one, two, three, four, and I’m cool. We always called it “breaking the seal.” The first urination in the midst of a drinking session.

Once that happens? Freaking floodgates, yo. Every drink, I’m in the restroom. Every drink!

I use the time to assess my sobriety and have little conversations with myself about not acting as intoxicated as I might feel, or to strike up hilarious conversations with random strangers peeing next to me who may or may not find the talks as entertaining as I do.

This is why I don’t drink much at pro football or basketball or baseball games that I bought expensive tickets to attend. Because I don’t want to have to hike up or down stairs to the bathroom twice per $12 beer.

This is also why I avoid partying too far from home. “Don’t worry, Matt! It’s just a 45-minute ride home!”

Are you shitting me? Forty-five minutes? In a car? With bumps and crap to drive over? I. Will. Die. And almost have a handful of times.

One time I made my friend emergency-stop just a couple minutes from my house so I could pee in a bush outside of some business where I happened to know a guy who worked there, but hadn’t given me permission to pee outside the building, even though that’s totally what I would have told the officer.

I don’t know what happens when you let your bladder swell until failure, but I’m pretty sure you just pee your pants.

Because I’m drinking a gallon of water per day, I have to pee constantly. As a writer, I find this interrupts my flow (pun intended), and I’m annoyed that I have to get up so often.

I went to the restroom three times while writing this post. I wish I was kidding.

Whatever.

Keep your eye on the ball, right?

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.” I read that on my friend’s blog recently. Seems accurate enough.

What do I want most?

You to totally want me on June 1, of course!

If interested, you can probably find me in a restroom.

Or emergency-peeing behind a bush.

#tommyleejonesface

#tommyleejonesface

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