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Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

From a secular viewpoint there is no real inherent value to any person.  Man is but a tiny speck of matter in a gigantic universe which extends for billions of light years.  From this perspective man is not worthwhile or worthless, he just is.  From this point of view a person need not feel inferior to anyone else as a person.  One must have some set of criteria to measure people and any method is completely arbitrary.  Even if some philosophers set up some rules and everyone on earth accepted it, you would still not have to measure yourself by those standards.  One need not consider oneself a failure, for this would not exist in reality, but only as someones subjective value judgement which you need not accept.

From a secular point of view a person has a choice about how he will judge himself.  He can choose to refrain from accepting any value judgement and exist without evaluating himself.  He can also choose to accept an arbitrary value of his worth set up by other people of his society.  In some areas of the world having a lot of green paper with certain words and pictures printed on it is a measure of a person’s value.  In other areas of the world excelling at hunting or fishing is the criteria for success in life.  In some areas, the ability to impersonate other people on stage or screen is considered a criteria for greatness.  A group of people can make up some new and unique value system of human worth.  For example, to skillfully throw a cube through a hole in a board might make a person a great hero.  This is no more ridiculous than a person feeling superior because he excels at games called baseball, football, or chess.  It is unnecessary to have a low self-image when you can easily invent some criteria by which you are a success.  What makes anyone else’s criteria more valid than your own?

From the Torah point of view, there is inherent value in every person.  Man was created in the image of the Almighty (Genesis 1:27 and 5:1) and is the pinnacle of creation.  By accepting and internalizing this attitude a person appreciates he has value just because he exists.

excerpt from “Gateway To Happiness” pg. 120

Related Audio: The Secret To Happiness

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Comments icon July 22, 2010


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