We have taken a solid stance on the word value.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
Value is a word that is thrown around nowadays. When something is overused, you tend to forget the actual meaning. For example, the word asylum comes from the Greek word asylon which means sanctuary. Synonyms for this word are shelter, haven and retreat. Unfortunately, this isn’t what comes to mind when we hear the word asylum. We have negative thoughts- where “crazy” people are sent-and that may have to do with our tendency to put the word insane in front of it. Either way, as we use language throughout time and in different contexts, the social standard for the word changes. This is what is happening to the word value.
Value is used in numerous ways, mainly in monetary examples. You saved money at the grocery store, “Oh what a great value!” or as an assigned worth, “This vase is very valuable.” But if you think about it, we have it all wrong.
Einstein clearly separated value from success. When you go to the grocery store and save money, we think of it as a success. When we are auctioning off a painting for charity, we want the greatest amount of money because it will be successful to sell it for a larger amount. We forget what value really is and the actual value the word has.
Value should be defined socially as the merit, the worth, the importance of. Sure, its the first definition that pops up in Google, but its not the first one that pops up in our minds.
Value is different from success because you can hold importance and merit without being successful. Being successful means you are wealthy, you have a high position, or numerous honors, but it doesn’t mean you actually hold any value!
When Einstein tells us to strive to be valuable, it means we need to hold a merit, to be important, to serve a purpose. Success isn’t mandatory and if you really were a person of value, success wouldn’t even be necessary because with value comes being humble. This word[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”] “value” is skewed in our minds because we tie it with success and as our culture has determined, the only people who are worth value, are those who are successful.[/inlinetweet]
This is false.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”]The people who are truly valuable don’t need to be successful because they are content with serving their purpose and guiding others.[/inlinetweet]