A Person's Worth
A well-known professor lead off his lecture by withdrawing a 50 dollars bill from his wallet and showing it to the audience.
He asked: "Anybody would like to get this bill?" Raised hands started to appear.
Then he said: "I'll give this 50 dollars bill to one of you, but before I give it away, allow me to do something with it."
He then vigorously crumpled that bill up into a small crummy ball; then he enquired: "Would you still like to have this bill?" Again, many in the audience raised their hands.
"Okay, okay, all right; but what would happen if I did this?" He threw the already abused little crumpled bill on the floor and jumped and stomped on it with both feet, again and again, twisting and rubbing it on the auditorium's floor, covering it with dirt.
Again, he wanted to know: "Anyone would still like to have this bill?" Of course, the number of raised hands didn't dwindle, not even a bit.
"My friends, you've just learned a lesson... It doesn't matter what I do to this bill; you still want it because its value didn't change. It's still worth 50 dollars."
"Many times in your life, you'll feel crumpled, rejected, abused, trampled upon and scolded by people or circumstances. You'll be under the impression that you've become a worthless piece of shit; but actually, your worth wouldn't have changed at all in the eyes of the people who love you! A person's worth doesn't hinge on what she does or doesn't do. You can always start anew and reach your goals, because your intrinsic worth would always remain untouched."
Translated from French by Farid Hajji.