No. 506



One of my relatives, who shall remain nameless, has told me many times
she suffers from low self-esteem. Because I don¹t walk around in her skin, I
don¹t know all the reasons for this malady, but I do know that millions of
Americans suffer this same fate each day of their lives. The other day I got
a letter from a reader in Kentucky who passed along a little article about a
$20 bill that is in actuality an antidote for low self-esteem. If you or
someone you love suffer from low self-esteem, I believe the moral or
principle this article contains will help you. Really and truly, life is too
short for anyone to go through it with feelings of inferiority and
inadequacy, and that they don¹t have value and self worth. If you will think
about it, there are millions of people in our prosperous nation today who
have pushed themselves to the outer limits of what they consider ³success,²
trying to overcome their feelings of not being good enough.
First let me share the contents of this article and then I have some
comments that hopefully will put it into perspective.
A 20 Dollar Bill
A well-known speaker started off his seminar to a group of 200 people by
holding up a $20 bill and asking, ³Who would like this $20 bill?² Hands
started going up. He said, ³I am going to give this $20 bill to one of you,
but first let me do this.² He proceeded to crumple up the $20 bill. He then
asked, ³Who still wants it?² Still the hands were up in the air. ³Well,² he
replied, ³what if I do this?² And he dropped it on the ground and started to
grind it into the floor with his shoe. Picking it up crumpled and dirty, he
said, ³Now, who still wants it?²
Still the hands went into the air. He continued, ³My friends, we have
all learned a valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still
wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many
times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by
the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as
though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will
happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely
creased, you are still priceless to those who love you. The worth of our
lives comes not in what we do or who we know but it comes from knowing who
we are.²
Now that¹s a good story, but apparently the person who wrote it did not
understand something we call inflation. That $20 bill may still look the
same as it did 15 to 20 years ago, but it does not still have the same value
in terms of purchasing power. You can probably remember the days when our
kids used to ask for $5 and now they ask for $20 or $100. There is another
consideration, as it relates to low self-esteem, that may be worth thinking
about. What actually gives that $20 bill its value? The value of that $20
bill comes because it is backed up by the full faith and credit of the
United States government.
I can still remember the days when we used to say ³Save your confederate
dollars, because the South is going to rise again.² My point being that, at
one time, confederate money had value, but it¹s worthless today. As the
article points out, $20 is still $20 and it has value because it is legal
tender and can be used to purchase $20 worth of products and services, based
on the Consumer Price Index, at any given point in time.
There is something else that makes our nation really and truly unique.
In the history of mankind, we are the only nation ever conceived. where we
as citizens derive our power from an all loving, all wise and almighty God.
While some may doubt the truth of what I have said, nevertheless this is
a historical fact. The United States Constitution is framed by devout
Christians ‹ in fact, 53 out of 55 signers of the Declaration of
Independence were orthodox evangelicals whose godliness laid the foundation
for 200 years of blessings and prosperity. Any enlightened person knows our
nation has steadily gone downhill since we have decided to go it alone. But
you may ask, ³what does that have to do with self-esteem?² Well, more than
you may realize. As unique, one-of-a-kind individuals, our value and
self-worth also comes from God.
Several years ago, in the field of education we witnessed something
called the ³Self-Esteem Movement.² This was an attempt to make students feel
special by continually giving them praise and positive strokes, but in
recent times many educators have come to realize this approach has little
lasting value. This is because we are already special and have all the worth
we will ever have because we are created by God and in His image. Just
knowing that is really the foundation for setting about the task of becoming
what He wants us to become. In short, to become a success in anything takes
time and hard work This is what having healthy self-esteem is all about.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You
may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)