What Gives Our Lives Value?

Every now and then, I find it useful to go back to the old questions.  When I ended my last post, it started me thinking about self esteem.  Ultimately, my self esteem has been drawn and shaped by my belief in my ability and willingness to accomplish needed things which otherwise would be left undone.  In an odd sort of way I value my life in a very different manner from my normal economic minded approach. 

In most cases, I think value can be assigned to an object or work based set by the second highest value offered.  I believe the second was a truer measure as there are many items and services which have sentimental value for 1 buyer.  Individually, we are not rational purchasers.  If I were to approach my life’s choices from this angle, I would be forced to answer why I place value in what others don’t.  After all, couldn’t most married couples decide to take in a foster child?  Is it really that difficult?  Are the medical problems really the hard part of raising our kids?  Yet somehow, society was set to fail them. 

So I chose another way to assign value.  Maybe a better value can be assigned looking at down current results of love.  Maybe our true value is everyone whose values we shape or inspire.  As we took in another child this week, I am excited to watch my kids reactions.  They have always been so caring towards babies.  They understand what it is to be sick, and they seem to have incredible empathy especially for those to whom things come slowly if at all.

As I talk and correspond with others who have been through life altering situations, it seems to be a common thread that  those who find a way to turn the traumas they’ve gone through into ways to connect and help others are the ones who fare best.  As I think about our kids medical histories, I think one of the ways we can give them strength going forward is to take the scars they have, emotional and physical, and try to forge them into strengths.  They know what it is to hurt or be afraid or…  With all of the times I want to strangle them during their hyper destructive phases, watching them play with a little 9 month old who just learned to roll over and watching them try to make this little girl smile is a huge sign of strength and character development.  Watching them try to get her to play with their favorite stuff or make room for her to sit in my lap for book time, makes the choices we’ve made worthwhile.  They know she doesn’t understand a lot, but they seem to have taken all people while in our house are family to comfort. They’re learning what I most want them to know.

Having somebody who needs them seems to bring out the best in them.  I hope it does for everyone in our family.