The advice older people give to us young’uns is “know your place.” You don’t butt in on a conversation you’re not a part of. You keep away from things that aren’t yours, and you never bury your nose in someone else’s business. These are tried and tested golden nuggets of advice, and they’ve been around for a long time.
Today, I’d like to try out something new.
‘Know your place’ is an old idiom that serves to remind us of where we stand. But what if children were taught at a young age that behaving according to your rank, status, or position was equally as, if not more, important as acting according to your inherent worth as a person.
As I’m writing this, there’s a jar of Winter Candy Apple scented candle by Bath & Body Works sitting next to my computer. It’s not lit, of course. I wouldn’t want to waste the fizzle of sweet-smelling joy. But I like the fact that I have a scented candle and that every once in a while when I’m in the mood, I get to relish the experience of a candle-lit room with it.
I use it sparingly because I know how special of a candle it is. Like the precious china your grandmother keeps in the cabinet or the one dress in your closet reserved for special occasions.
But you and I are worth more than all the beeswax, silk, and porcelain in the world combined. The sad thing is we undermine our own worth by acting average—by treating ourselves as less than the person God made us to be and by letting others do the same.
Average vs Irreplaceable
Everyone has a pair of shoes that they wear on a daily basis. I’d like to call this The Magical All-Purpose Shoes.
This particular pair of shoes was made for everyday, average things. You throw it on when you’re out for McDonald’s, or when you’re running an errand where you’re too lazy to dress up.
The Magical All-Purpose Shoes get the job done. When it’s worn-out or ruined, we throw it away.
But on your shoe rack, you have your favorite pair of heels or the baddie Dr. Martens boots that make your feet feel indestructible. You only wear them on special occasions and nothing short of that.
If at some point these special shoes give up, I bet you wouldn’t throw them away.
That’s the difference between average and irreplaceable.
The Wrong People
The wrong people will never understand or appreciate you and no amount of effort will change their minds. Even if you wring yourself dry of all the love you could give, you can’t make anyone appreciate you.
All you can do is open your hands and say, “This is for you.” If they don’t want what you can give, walk away.
It’s important to know your place, sure. But even more than that, it’s important to know your people.
So be with the ones who know your worth and will not take you for granted. Anything less than that will only bring you pain.
Oh, and before you go, remember that you are your people, too. Before other people know your worth, you have to know it first yourself.