By ROY W. HARRIS
How do you determine the value of anything? That can be both an easy and hard question to answer. I recently read a study on the value of the materials, which compose the human body, published by Imperial State Institute for Nutrition at Tokyo. Their study concluded that the most valuable part of the human body is our skin. According to the study, skin is worth 25 cents per square foot, and the average person’s skin is worth about $3.50. (How they arrive at that value, and why anyone would even want to know is anybody’s guess.) The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils lists the other chemicals and minerals contained in our bodies as 65% Oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% Hydrogen, 3% Nitrogen, 1.5% Calcium, 1% Phosphorous, 0.35% Potassium, 0.25% Sulfur, 0.15% Sodium, 0.15% Chlorine, 0.05% Magnesium, 0.0004% Iron, 0.00004% Iodine with traces of fluorine, silicon, manganese, zinc, copper, aluminum, and arsenic. Pretty impressive list, huh? Well, according to U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, the value of those chemicals comes to one dollar. So the value our skin and the other materials that make up the human body, come to a grand total of $4.50. We’ll come back to that in a few minutes.
It’s easy to determine value when you have a standard to measure value with like the “Blue Book” for cars, trucks and motorcycles, the daily per ounce price of gold or per dollar price of a gallon of gasoline. But other things are not so easily calculated. How do place value on the feeling you experience when holding your newborn child or grandchild for the first time, or seeing your soon-to-be-bride walking down the aisle, or your soon-to-be-husband waiting at the alter. Some things just cannot be measured in dollars and cents. They go much deeper. It is nice to possess things, and things bring a measure of happiness, but the reality is that things wear out, become boring or obsolete and the temporary happiness they bring is fleeting.
True contentment comes with things that cannot be measured by any tangible standard. Friends, family, personal contentment and peace with God all play important roles in who we are. How do you measure the worth of these important things?
It’s been said that if a person has three close lifelong friends who can be trusted and counted on then he or she is a rich person. True friends love you for who you are and not for what you possess. Many times they are closer than family members and may be sought out for advice, counsel or just a listening ear to hear our dreams, frustrations and hurts. Take it from Solomon, one of the wisest men
who ever lived: A man that hath friends must show himself friendly and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Good friends are a special gift – their value is far beyond measure.
‘Blood is thicker than water’ – we’ve all heard that expression. It has also been said that most of us are the sum total of all those who’ve invested their lives into ours. We owe much to family. They gave us life itself. At birth, they helped us when we were helpless. They provided food, shelter and clothing to sustain us. They protected us from dangers that surrounded us. They were the first in line in teaching us the basics of life. No matter what happens, most of us can count on family. How much is that worth? The value of family is immeasurable. We are truly wealthy if we are blessed with great families.
Some people spend their entire lives trying to find Personal Contentment. Many times contentment is sought after in all the wrong places. We assess our value as persons based on wrong standards of measurement. The way to Personal Contentment is not found in the size of our bank accounts, the type of cars we drive, the degrees we’ve earned, the careers we’ve chosen or accomplishments we’ve achieved.
All of those and other things bring a sense of satisfaction and rightly so. We work hard, and our hard work is rewarded. Personal Contentment is more valuable than anything we can accomplish or own. It is much deeper. Personal Contentment is found in personal worth. It is what we are and not what we possess, what we accomplish or what others think of us. Our personal worth is how we see ourselves deep down inside. In order to be contented, we must be satisfied with who we are. We are all uniquely created in God’s image. Not a single one of us have identical fingerprints or DNA. We are not too small or too tall. We are all special in God’s eyes. We need to become okay in our own skins. If we are not, then we should ask ourselves, what is necessary to become okay? If changes in personal behavior, our treatment of others and other like-minded examples become apparent in our own minds, then we must do what is necessary to become pleased with who we are. Many times we need God’s help in making some of those changes.
‘What’s it worth?’ is a question asked many times about many things. The pure material value of the human body is about $4.50. The worth of a human being is beyond measure. You can always acquire more things, but more things will only bring temporary satisfaction.
Want to find Personal Contentment? Remember, it’s not what you own but who you are deep down inside that makes the difference. The U.S. Army has a saying: “Be all you can be.” I have another one: “Be content with who you are and deep down inside you’ll find the Personal Contentment in life you’re looking for.”
What’s Personal Contentment worth? It’s priceless, but it is also free to everyone
Roy W. Harris is a marriage seminar and retreat speaker, minister, published author and journalist. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com or visit his website at www.royharris.info.