“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
Oscar-winning actor Haing Ngor was brutally murdered in Los Angeles in 1996 because he will not give up a locket containing his wife’s picture and a strand of her hair. Dr. Ngor had escaped from his home country Cambodia after he lost his whole family to the murderous Khmer Rouge. He came to America and became a successful actor. In spite of the success he found in America, he never got over the loss of his wife. To keep her close to his heart, he took some strands of her hair, put it in a locket that belonged to her, and wore it round his neck, no matter where he went. One night, a group of thugs accosted him and demanded he gave them everything he had on him. He emptied his pockets, gave them his watch and cane and every valuable he had, but he would not give up the locket. He explained what it was and why it meant so much to him but they murdered him, just to get that locket. As Ravi Zacharias put it in his book ‘Recapture the wonder’ “…Ngor died clinging to the locket, bespeaking a value that those murderers did not understand.”
Whatever we esteem is what becomes important to us. The value of things does not depend on their objective worth- but on the subjective value we place on them. A baby will throw away a diamond ring at the sight of a bottle of milk – because truthfully, the worth of a thing depends on the value (desirable importance) we place on them, and the value we place on them depends on the user, not the object. To a bum on the street the diamond ring is worth less than a meal, to a cancer patient its worth less than medical care, but to a lady of the courts its worth all her savings. Does it mean that there are no objective values? Maybe- Maybe not. My point is that the things we value are not valuable in themselves, but are only as valuable as we say they are. Jarod Kintz put it this way “Nothing carries meaning. People carry meaning. We are the porters of importance.”
What about the things that don’t have current market value; like joy, peace, security, health… Who determines their value? We do. The value we place on anything shows how important it is to us. So let me ask you, what’s important to you? What do you value? What would you cling to even at the point of death?
As you consider what is important to you;
Have a Great Life Y'all!
picture 1 courtesy of cliparthut.com
pictures 2&3 courtesy of dreamstime.com