English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
-   Family matters/health (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/)
-   -   Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you? (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/293470-worthwhile-valuable-useful-you.html)

doropfiz 10.08.2019 14:08

Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
According to which yardsticks do you measure the worthwhileness, the value and use, to yourself, and/or to others, of your existence and your actions? What constitutes "a life usefully lived"?

Do you consider your own contribution to the world (or to yourself, or to others around you) as minimal, average or exemplary? Do others notice and esteem what you do? Whether yes or no, does this matter to you, discourage you, motivate you? Or are you perhaps indifferent to the opinions of some others, while the evaluation of your life by some specific other people might be important to you (your [potential] employer, your grandmother, a religious leader, a lover or spouse, your child's schoolteacher, a mentor, someone evaluating your application for Swiss citizenship)?

What is important to you in steering your choices (or trying to influence others in their choices) to be more valuable and useful to yourself and/or to others (if, indeed, you do even want to be more valuable and useful)? Any of these, or any others?
Money, making people happy, self-determination, getting personal satisfaction, falling into bed exhausted but content at the end of the day, feeling motivated to get on with the next round in the morning, empowerment, knowing that you saved yourself or someone else, minimising everyday suffering or damage, seeing that a project of yours brings joy or advancement to yourself or to others, freedom of choice, having more possibilities, teaching well, affording others opportunities, personal gratification, appreciating small joys along the way.
What impedes you from choosing as freely as you might wish to, so as to become more a more useful, valuable or worthwhile person, or to carry out more useful, valuable or worthwhile actions? What has helped you to take the route you feel you should, despite impediments or limitations? What has helped you accept limitations, where they could not be overcome?

Do you notice and praise what others do? If yes, why and how? If not, why not? What do you admire, from near or far, about someone else's way of conducting themselves, such that you find them/their actions especially valuable and useful and worthy? Big things, little things? Can you draw motivation from such admirable people's actions or being?

Just as in my separate thread Happy are you? https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...happy-you.html Id be interested in a general discussion, but also specifically about whether or not your perspective on what makes your life valuable and useful, to you yourself and/or to others, is different for living in Switzerland, compared to how you saw such matters while living in any other country.

RufusB 10.08.2019 14:29

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
My kids are the answer to pretty much every question you pose.

Of course everyone has value. Or else the world is a truly shitty place.

If you're asking if external validation is necessary for my existence then, outside of a work related performance management review, no. I find it a strange question tbh.

doropfiz 10.08.2019 14:54

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Thanks, Rufus.

I, too, believe that everyone has value. Yet I observe that not everyone is treated as if they do have intrinsic value, just for being a human-being.

Some people are junkies for external validation. And I think others are not, but do find it a powerful motivator to Get On With It and Do Something. And yet others are so certain in their purpose that they don't care a jot about, what others think. Others profess too much about not caring what others think. And yet others genuinely do not even notice whether anyone else notices what they are doing to be useful.

My questions are also about what can encourage, what can discourage, and how to overcome things that [seem to] stand in the way towards become a more useful person.

We've all surely read success stories of people who arrived at the top because they were fueled by the sting of someone having told them they would never, ever manage to do x or y, and that fire burned within them until they had proved their critics wrong. Others - and I suppose that's a matter of personality, or inherent or learned reslience, or perhaps of who the critics were - are crushed to such an extent that the prophecy then becomes fulfilled in their life's pattern.

Some people face enormous hindrances which seem insurmountable and then, and then, oh, they either have an insight, or an outside influence enables them to overcome and turn their lives to an effective, productive direction.

This is just one example. I once read of a rural boy who couldn't walk. He could get to junior school because his parents could carry him there. As he grew, however, he was just too heavy and it was too farr for them to bear his weight. Much later, though, someone found a way to organise a heavy-duty overland wheelchair. With that, he took himself to a volunteer tutor. He improved his literacy skills so much that he became the village scribe, a central and useful person rather than the worrying, apparently helpless case he had been before.

Some of us know that a certain area of our lives keeps tripping us up. This could be our way of dealing with money, or personal relationships, or alcohol or a drug, or our anger-management, or disorder in paperwork, or poorly-made arrangements, etc. And this area of weakness can end up draining the resources in other areas of one's life, and make one's behaviour actions or achievements, overall, negative, or at least less valuable than they would be if we knuckled down and fixed that issue.

I'm interested to hear thoughts on all sorts of aspects of making one's life valuable in this sense, useful, helpful, worth living, worth the effort, productive, pleasing... whatever anyon'e personal set of criteria are.

Belgianmum 10.08.2019 14:59

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Sorry but why are you asking all these questions?
Is it for some sort of research paper or something?

doropfiz 10.08.2019 15:07

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Oh, no, certainly not for a research paper. Though I'd be very interested in reading any which may have been published along these lines.

I'm just genuinely thinking about my own life, and of those of some people around me, and about whether living in Switzerland influences one's thinking and sense of self, in this regard. I'm recalling what it was like to live in other countries, and whether or not I saw things in the same way, then.

I observe that some people who move to Switzerland lose their sense of identity and self-worth, for example because their qualifications from another country aren't recognised here, or because the kinds of activities in which they knew how to make a meaningful mark simply don't exist here in the same way, or are difficult to find, or need a command of the local language. Some of those people become depressed. Others go on to re-invent themselves and reconstruct their sense of usefuless in the world. Some of those do it by pushing forward with their language skills and regaining their seemingly lost territory (whether that was professional, or in terms of participation in family events or clubs or sports groups, or discussions, and local movements), and others do it by shifting their focus onto some completely new area, or by rearranging their priorities.

Some people escape to Switzerland from a life in another country, in which they would never have managed to rise up and develop themselves in terms of personal dignity and worthwhileness in contributing, or just in terms of persuing a personal interest, and getting to Switzerland offers them new opportunities to develop. Some of this is cultural, or regulatory, and some is just about finally having access to medical care, or about the amount of disposable income one might potentially have here.

MathNut 10.08.2019 15:19

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
My life is pretty darn useful to a small number of people. Or should I say to a number of small people 😁
I reckon I also make myself moderately useful to others in my daily life.. neighbors, friends, extended family on other continents. Beyond that, not so much. I probably don't make a lot of difference to most of the people I meet in the supermarket, for example, and none at all to the vast majority of the world.

I tend to think this has a lot to do with the stage of life I'm in, rather than the country I'm in or my status as a foreigner here. The people in my closest circle simply need me SO MUCH (mainly because they are either under the age of 6, or helping me parent people under the age of 6...) that there isn't an awful lot left over to give. I'm okay with that, it's how life is right now.

So yes, as far as the wider community is concerned (church, playground etc) I'm a bit more on the receiving end of help than on the giving end right now; I acknowledge that, and I like to think I'll find ways to pass it along in future as life permits.

MusicChick 10.08.2019 15:57

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Yes. As a parent, family member, friend, community member and most of all because of my jobs and studies, for the quite particular profiles of students I work with :)

We do a lot. We want to lead a meaningful life. But quantifying one's worth is misleading. Matter of perception, too.

Medea Fleecestealer 10.08.2019 18:36

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Can't say I've ever thought about any of that. Nor do I intend to.

doropfiz 11.08.2019 10:53

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 3089969)
Can't say I've ever thought about any of that. Nor do I intend to.

That's interesting. We're all different. These kinds of socio-psychological musings get a lot of thought over in this corner.

Belgianmum 11.08.2019 11:18

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 3089969)
Can't say I've ever thought about any of that. Nor do I intend to.

I feel the same, its not something Ive ever really thought about.

BasP72 11.08.2019 14:39

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
I find these dangerous questions. The Nazies found themselves more valuable than etc etc etc....

Dougal's Breakfast 11.08.2019 15:10

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
I'm a walking, talking oxygen thief.

Society is just going to have to suck it up until the health insurance companies decide to stop subsidising my continued existence.

:D

JagWaugh 11.08.2019 15:17

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Not something I think much about, to be honest. I find people who express how worthwhile/valuable/useful they are a bit... suspect. If one does do something worthwhile/valuable/useful, then surely the point of doing it is that it is worthwhile/valuable/useful, rather than having/ensuring that it is seen to be so.

The closest I get to this question is "Am I being the best possible me?" (And often, the answer is "Almost")

MusicChick 11.08.2019 15:22

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BasP72 (Post 3090159)
I find these dangerous questions. The Nazies found themselves more valuable than etc etc etc....

I think this would be true if one immediately jumped to comparison. But why do that. I think it is important to ask oneself how useful or helpful one is to others. "What do I get out of it?" or "I am entitled to.." is something one hears far more often than "How can I help".

Cherub 11.08.2019 15:25

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
I just take each day as it comes. It comes from having been seriously ill for 2 years back in 2006-08. I find just accepting you have to take the rough with the smooth and that not every day can be perfect works for me.

I deal with questions like this by reading Psychologies magazine :) and taking the odd mindfulness meditation course, I've been practicing it since I was ill and was asked to volunteer for a 6 week course by my doctors. Did an 8 week one in Basel last year "Mindfulness Self Compassion" that was run by a British psychologist and thoroughly enjoyed it. I got a certificate at the end that I can use as a step to wards training to teach mindfulness meditation if I want to :D

greenmount 11.08.2019 15:44

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3089897)
According to which yardsticks do you measure the worthwhileness, the value and use, to yourself, and/or to others, of your existence and your actions? What constitutes "a life usefully lived"?

Do you consider your own contribution to the world (or to yourself, or to others around you) as minimal, average or exemplary? Do others notice and esteem what you do? Whether yes or no, does this matter to you, discourage you, motivate you? Or are you perhaps indifferent to the opinions of some others, while the evaluation of your life by some specific other people might be important to you (your [potential] employer, your grandmother, a religious leader, a lover or spouse, your child's schoolteacher, a mentor, someone evaluating your application for Swiss citizenship)?

What is important to you in steering your choices (or trying to influence others in their choices) to be more valuable and useful to yourself and/or to others (if, indeed, you do even want to be more valuable and useful)? Any of these, or any others?
Money, making people happy, self-determination, getting personal satisfaction, falling into bed exhausted but content at the end of the day, feeling motivated to get on with the next round in the morning, empowerment, knowing that you saved yourself or someone else, minimising everyday suffering or damage, seeing that a project of yours brings joy or advancement to yourself or to others, freedom of choice, having more possibilities, teaching well, affording others opportunities, personal gratification, appreciating small joys along the way.
What impedes you from choosing as freely as you might wish to, so as to become more a more useful, valuable or worthwhile person, or to carry out more useful, valuable or worthwhile actions? What has helped you to take the route you feel you should, despite impediments or limitations? What has helped you accept limitations, where they could not be overcome?

Do you notice and praise what others do? If yes, why and how? If not, why not? What do you admire, from near or far, about someone else's way of conducting themselves, such that you find them/their actions especially valuable and useful and worthy? Big things, little things? Can you draw motivation from such admirable people's actions or being?

Just as in my separate thread “Happy – are you?” https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...happy-you.html I’d be interested in a general discussion, but also specifically about whether or not your perspective on what makes your life valuable and useful, to you yourself and/or to others, is different for living in Switzerland, compared to how you saw such matters while living in any other country.

So many questions I never really thought about, at least not in these terms.

I like how JW has put it "Are you the best version of yourself?" - probably not. We can always do more, be kinder, help more etc etc etc. I am very much focused on my family for the time being, tbh. I do whatever and wherever I can to help others, but it is not the main focus of my life now, not at this moment.
OH is working in a field where he can definitely say he is improving the life of many, if not most people. He never says that. I acknowledged it for him, he wasn't particularly proud or boisterous. I like these quiet super achievers and hard working people who will not look at anyone down for any reason. They are an example for me.

Sandgrounder 11.08.2019 16:09

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MusicChick (Post 3090164)
I think this would be true if one immediately jumped to comparison. But why do that. I think it is important to ask oneself how useful or helpful one is to others. "What do I get out of it?" or "I am entitled to.." is something one hears far more often than "How can I help".

Those questions also have their place within context. There needs to be balance. Selflessness is an admirable quality but not in every situation.

There is nothing wrong with expecting something in return, whether its monetary compensation, a return favour or just plain old respect.

As for being entitled; I dont think many people go to work without thinking themselves entitled to a salary as well as associated benefits, or paying for a train ticket and feeling you are entitled to get from A to B.

Not knowing ones worth and not taking what one is entitled to is equally a flaw as overstepping ones entitlement.

MusicChick 11.08.2019 16:16

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandgrounder (Post 3090177)
Not knowing ones worth and not taking what one is entitled to is equally a flaw as overstepping ones entitlement.

Could be, sure. I wouldn't call humility "a flaw".

My point was this however:

Quote:

Originally Posted by MusicChick (Post 3090164)
"What do I get out of it?" or "I am entitled to.." is something one hears far more often than "How can I help".


3Wishes 11.08.2019 16:16

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
Like in the other "are you happy" thread, I think it depends on when you're asking the question as to the type of response you'll get.

Right now I'm not happy and I don't feel at all worthwhile or valuable to anyone. I feel like a waste of space that does nothing but take up oxygen. Ask me a year ago or a year from now the answer might be different.

MusicChick 11.08.2019 16:21

Re: Worthwhile/valuable/useful - are you?
 
I also forgot to mention something that I find more important than trying to assess one's own value and that is validation. I think if one's seeks validation from somebody else, it is a sympton of not feeling inherently worthy. A recipe for feeling useless.


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:45.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0