Una's Blog


Una’s little world 33. Your value as a person

by Una Hearne.

We naturally compare ourselves to others as a way of monitoring how we are doing in life. It’s tricky though – there is a difference between a general sanity check and beating ourselves up for not being as good, successful, thin, fit or rich as the next person.

It is a terribly destructive habit to compare one aspect of your life to one aspect of another person’s life. It is madness to feel you are lacking because you don’t have this hair, that job or the other relationship. You can’t have what other people have or be who they are – you are not meant to. You are meant to have what you have and be who you are. Obsessing over small details of others’ lives simply results in missing living your own life fully.

It is equally nonsense to try to compare the total value of one person and their life to another. There is no way to quantify who someone is, everything they do and what they mean to the people in their lives. We are so interconnected that everything we do affects everyone we interact with directly or indirectly. Who loved the most? Who made other people’s lives better? Who contributed the most to society? Who created the most exquisite art? The effect we have on others ripples out indefinitely. You simply can’t track or measure it.

Even if you try to compare humans ‘objectively’ say by working out the relative value of their achievements and contribution to society, you find yourself through the looking glass very quickly. We revere doctors and nurses for example, rightly. But now, Covid has shown us that cleaners are just as important in saving lives, and scientists. Not to mention that everyone involved in the food chain, and water and power supplies, is essential for our collective survival.

Take any random area of life, is the unknown civil servant diligently keeping the wheels of society turning more or less important than a famous personality? Is a person battling mental illness every single day any less courageous and tenacious than an extreme sportsperson? Is your bin collector more or less important to you than your president? Which would have the greater impact on your life if they stopped doing their job? An entrepreneur who starts a business and employs others – economic hero. More or less heroic than a person who breaks out of a generational cycle of poverty and addiction, creating a better life for their children?

The more you think about it – and I’ve thought about it a lot – the only sane conclusion is that every single person on the planet is of equal value. Just by being here. What we need is a world of human beings who are aware of this and the unique gifts they bring. We need everyone doing their individual thing. We need you doing your thing.

Thank you for being you and doing your thing.

Una x


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