There’s a show I watch every week called Agent Carter that is based on a Marvel comic book world. It’s set in 1940’s America and the main character is a woman named, you guessed it, Agent Carter. She is not a superhero, at least not in the respect that she has inhuman strength or some kind of supernatural power such as laser eyes. But in other, more human ways, she is a hero. At one point in the show, she says “I don’t need a congressional honor. I don’t need Agent Thompson’s approval or the President’s. I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” She proves again and again that she has the strength, wit and talent to do her job and live her life the way she wants to although she is doubted by people at every turn.
It’s a difficult kind of introspection to achieve–knowing your own worth without outside input. So often we depend on outside opinions to judge ourselves-how we look, how smart we are, our value at a job, school, or as a parent. The media, our friends and family, coworkers, bosses and even complete strangers are more than happy to let us know what they think of everything we do. Especially in this age of internet and social media, we are exposed to people’s opinions when we never asked for them in the first place.
What is value, really? Your value is what you bring to the table. Let’s think of value in concrete terms. If you bring everything you can give, but someone else doesn’t think it’s enough, or the right thing, does that make it true? Does that make it your problem…or theirs?
The problem is, to others, your value is not concrete. Your perceived value can change depending who you talk to. So when you walk into a new situation, how do you know what your value is?
Your value is what you do. It’s how you live. When you can walk into a room no matter who is in it and what they think of you, and you always bring the same morals, thoughts, ideas, passions, the things that make you you, that is your value.