What Are You Worth?


In today's world, the phrase, “Don't judge a book by its cover” has virtually no meaning at all. We live in a fast paced society where people simply do not have the time to learn about a person's true self worth.

Let's face it, New York City Sanitation workers can make quite a pretty penny each year and on top of the pension, and on top of that, they earn a pension after serving their time as a city employee. Some people are not cut out to graduate college and go onto the “bigger and better” things that the world has to offer those hungry enough for them.

For these individuals, jobs like sanitation are not bad options. Yet, it seems as though no one wants to introduce themselves to the gorgeous stranger standing across from them at the bar as “John the garbage man.”

In a perfect world, John the garbage man is probably a loving son who is also a great friend to those who allot him the time to get to know them.  He undoubtedly should be able to approach the desired person with a head full of confidence and a heart full of pride.

The average person does not do this, however, because as Alain de Botton explains, “We live in a world surrounded by snobs.” People, especially inhabitants of New York City, make no time for those who we feel are unworthy of our attention. We are the shark tank in the aquarium. We never stop moving out of fear that if we slow down, we will eventually die out.

What if we did slow down? What if we decided to carelessly glide through life instead of darting through it? I guarantee we would all be a lot happier. We would get to know people for who they are, not what they do.

The janitor at your child's school could be someone who donates half his check to charity and works with people in need on the weekend, but we shun them before we get to know what a great person he or she is.

Instead, we look up to the person who is the head of a law firm without any knowledge of what else they bring to the table. Are fancy job titles and college diplomas really enough evidence to judge someone?  Would you marry a person simply because they graduated from Harvard Law school?

Even more unfortunate than all of this is the fact that life has come to the point where getting into college is no longer the most stressful thing on an ambitious teen's mind.

Nowadays it is nothing new to come across a young man or woman who is stressing about what they will become and how much money they will earn before they are even enrolled in a college.

Success is currently measured by how deep your pockets run and how many zeros you have in the bank, as long as it's more than one. This being the case, there should be no such thing as a depressed investment banker or a proud janitor and this is exactly what is wrong with the world today.

Granted, someone who has gone through all the strenuous schooling to become a corporate lawyer deserves his or her recognition, but does this mean a sanitation worker will never amount to the same level of praise?

Hell, I'm pretty sure all the people who would turn away from a garbage man would come crawling back to that same guy if he decided not to pick up everyone's trash. Just look at what happened after Hurricane Sandy and during the clean up phase resulting from the events of September 11th.

Everyone seemed to be pretty fond of the men and women putting in the strenuous hours so that the city could return to everyday life. I'm pretty sure almost all of these selfless workers were employees of the city, men and women who don't even have business cards.

The bottom line here is, success should not be measured in money or what school you graduate from and the job title you posses. Success should always be measured in happiness.

If you can wake up on a Monday morning with no ill will toward the world or without pressing snooze so you can enjoy those last ten minutes of the weekend, you have made it.

You have no reason to feel the social anxieties the world will try to throw at you. As for your self worth, well, when you can walk around with a serious smile on your face, your self-worth is more than any bank account on the planet.

Alex Kellish | Elite.