I wonder if you’ve ever thought about what your true or intrinsic value might be? Over the years various organisations and academics have tried to estimate what an individual life might be worth. An almost impossible task you might suggest but it turns out that recent research by economists puts that figure at around £8 million. I’m unsure exactly how they arrived at that figure, though I’m sure that some pretty complicated maths and computer modelling was used!
The problem with putting a price on our value is that it reduces us to a commodity. The reality is that we are so much more valuable than that. In fact I would go so far as to say that each one of us is priceless. However, the biggest problem often lies in the fact that we judge ourselves against others and ultimately by what someone else thinks about us. Our own self-worth fluctuates day to day, generally based on what our friends, teachers, colleagues or parents say to us. One word or reaction can cause self-doubt and the ongoing comparison to others can seem almost relentless. The talk of a mental health crisis for our young people that was evident well before Covid struck. Three lockdowns, remote learning and a year of uncertainty won’t have done anything to quell those worries and as a community we should remind ourselves of the need to look after each other.
I believe our value should be based on the fact that each one of us is unique – no one person is more valuable than anyone else. When we think about our children that should be our over-riding concern. It is in remembering that we are all made differently – we have different passions, different hopes, different dreams and different skills.
We are passionate here at St John’s in seeing those individual traits, inspiring the children to reach their potential academically, socially and emotionally. That doesn’t mean a conveyor belt of children who conform to a set of standards, but rather seeing every child thrive so that they can truly be their very best.
In a time when children’s wellbeing has never been more important, reminding them that they are priceless just for being themselves is such an important message to give. So rather than just asking your children what they did at school today, remind them that are very precious indeed.