Self-worth to the Worthless

Self-worth to the Worthless

This is my latest post on Medium. I try not to preach but this is a subject close to my heart. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Ask yourself this: how many times have you heard it said he or she is worthless? They’re no good for nothing! He’s a waster! She has no talent! They’re sponging off society! The list goes on, a list almost always spoken with venom. I don’t subscribe it, not one bit.

I have known lads who could barely pick up a pen to write their name. Often this was exaggerated due to boredom, a general disinterest in the what others judged correct etcetera, etcetera. In no way did this change the underlying factor that they were not academically gifted. Not everyone can be. The problem occurred when people would never let them forget it, or worse. Yet, I have seen those selfsame so-called illiterates strip down an engine without instructions, clean it in no particular order and rebuild it better than it was to start with. Some people would have marvelled — I could never have done it — others would’ve claimed it all they were good for. I found the latter looked down their noses at the time — looking down one’s nose is a very English occupation that seems to have spread.

Once, I knew a girl with no school friends, who others proclaimed stupid. Years later, I saw this selfsame girl, now a woman, care for my grandmother with a consideration and patience even family couldn’t have matched (she shall have my eternal gratitude, too).

It takes all kinds to make a country function, and it would be a sad country indeed that offered a landscape without variety. In turn, countries without variety would make for a tedious and rather boring world, at least, in my humble opinion.

I believe everyone is good at something, some more than others, but always something. That certain something might be giving a speech, writing a book, painting someone’s nails or kicking a ball, it is the observer that categories said acts and seeks to appropriate a scaled percentage of proposed quality. They shouldn’t.

You can’t be all things to all people, neither can you do all things well. But I believe if you can do something well, be happy in the doing it and others be happy for you, the world would benefit. What’s more, those supposed worthless people might for once in their lives smile and feel valued, good, fired by self-worth.

I know this to be true because I was one of them. I don’t want to see anyone being made to feel useless and I hope you don’t too.

Thank you for reading


Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals dark fantasy series.

50 thoughts on “Self-worth to the Worthless

  1. Bravo for those words Richard.. I relate to this more than you can ever know.. For as a child I was told I was worthless.. stupid and didn’t feel loved by my mother who later proved it in many ways even into my adult years.. Sigh.. So I always tell anyone who ever needs to hear it.. Just how valued they are..
    Working in support work in later years, I again saw the damage done by words and unkindness as people pointed fingers and sneered at those who had learning difficulties whom I supported..

    So Bravo again for these words.. I hope more come to read them and understand their true worth..
    ❤ Sue

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone has something wonderful to offer, they may be the most gifted surgeon or the most wonderful cook. They may have a pent-ion for fastidiousness and take pride in their ability to organize. We should assume there is something worthwhile in everyone, because there is and it doesn’t matter the level of education, the most intelligent people may not be able to sing a beautiful song or paint artwork. Lovely and thoughtful message Richard. I hope we all respect one another for what they offer and they may never stop until they find that gift.

      1. Especially among our young people, they are often ridiculed and bullied. Our schools must step up and our parenting must be about building the self worth and character in our kids…it’s not up to the schools, but the parents to raise their child. 🙂

      2. If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
        If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
        If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
        – Dorothy Law Neite.

        We need to break the cycle that is for sure. Thanks, Richard.

  3. A Powerful Post about something that happens far too often. Thank you for reminding us all how easy it is to be condescending, sometimes without even realizing. Being mean spirited isn’t always intentional, but it hurts regardless.

  4. Your words apply everywhere, Richard. I’m always struck by how someone’s “worth” is described as a monetary value. It shows how screwed up values have become. Every person is a unique story and miracle and worthy of respect and kindness. The world would be a safer, kinder, happier place if we lived by those principles. Great post. ❤

  5. As a mom of a child who was hatefully bullied, this is also a subject close to my heart. Before you belittle, ask yourself ‘what miraculous thing have you done?’ I bet you won’t find an answer to the question. Bravo, Richard. Thank you for speaking out ❤

  6. This really touched me, I have often felt worthless, having no perceivable talents, and always struggling in my day job, and then I started my blog and even though I may not be super-talented in that regard, writing is natural for me, so that’s the only real outlet for me when others fail

  7. Richard, you have touched upon a subject that is so sensitive to the society. As the Bible says, a body has different parts. The head can’t say to the toes that I don’t need you. My choir director lost all the toes on one foot and a big toe on other foot due to diabetes. He could tell us how difficult it is to walk with a cane. Even in a small office, every position is needed for the business to function, let alone to be successful. I am from a family with six siblings. I could trace to the roots of why one has healthier esteem while the other is still struggling.
    There are may things happen in school settings. When I was a school district administrator, I volunteered to mentor students. Principals would ask teachers to make referrals. Most likely the ones got referred were the ones who felt they were underdogs.
    I’m retired, and serve as a volunteer counselor for the church. As you said, a smile is worth millions. These ladies felt so worthless all their lives. One lady cried and laughed in the sessions, and said she had never done that before. She didn’t feel she had a life until she came to see me.
    I am so glad that you bring this issue to the awareness of the individuals, the families, and societies as a whole! Thank you!

  8. i grew up being told i was worthless, in a daily basis. so i know what you’re talking about. it is difficult to get your confidence back, but it is possible. nonetheless, i would prefer if no one had to hear that shameful word ever again.

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