This word offends more than I could ever describe. I have heard people berating, humiliating others by calling them that. The tone of a message matters as much as the words used in the message. Mostly, this vile word has been uttered with disdain, contempt, hate, rage, disrespect, mockery, disgust and ridicule. I once heard a parent call their child worthless. I will not even go into the mental state of a person who calls a young child worthless nor will I go into what such a statement does to a child’s psyche. I heard it in the streets of Montréal, as a man was insulting his young child and I felt the need to punch the father in the face, but assault is a crime and being behind bars wouldn’t have solved the father’s problem. Thankfully, a stranger jumped in and the father quickly apologized. Good Samaritans still exist, it would seem.
It means something that has no value, no worth and, it is mainly and intentionally used to disparage and degrade someone. It is a sign of disrespect, the highest there is, which begs the question: How can one person call another worthless? How can one person determine another person’s value and say it out loud with a palpable assurance? What does that even mean? How condescending is that? The fact I am even asking these questions, is bothering me because I see how nonsensical all this is!
Everyone is worth something. No person has zero value! It doesn’t exist. No one is or can be worthless. It’s impossible. Let’s be honest, let’s be real: some people have a negative impact on society. Some people aren’t good and have bad values. That is a fact of life. They can easily be called worthless and it happens often. Some people don’t have any marketable or productive skillset, others lack education or have a learning disability, but they are not worthless. It certainly isn’t their fault. Sometime, life gives you a shitty deal. Those bad people would have been quite different if their energy had been channelled through a specific productive conduit. If they had had some good and productive environment, or some education, or other opportunities, they might have turned out differently and be “worthy” members of society.
As I mentioned, I have heard people-angry and bitter people-call others worthless. I hate it with all my heart. Bullies tend to see no worth in others because they usually don’t see much worth in themselves. Others just enjoy inflicting pain on people or looking down on them. Either way, some people will call others worthless.
This is the part I preach and ask for a favor: Never, ever, let anyone call you worthless. Do not ever accept others to set your worth because, as I have said numerous times, they will rarely give you a high value or your due. Others cannot asses your worth; you set your own value. You determine your worth. No one else does that for you. “Worthless” is the first step to people dehumanizing others and treating them like garbage. Once you open that door, only the Gods know what will follow. I can promise you, what comes next, will not be pretty or worthy.
That is one of the most demeaning words in the English language. It is a word that infuriates me, yet, no one has ever addressed me that way. I wonder why I despise it so much. Perhaps, it is because I despise the attitude of those who have the misfortune and indecency of uttering this damned word! It is the word of bullies and evil people, the kind of people I cannot stand, and I despise.
Here is the thing: you know what you are worth and, believe me, it is far superior than zero. As a matter of fact, it will never be even close to zero. You have something to offer, everyone does. We all have something to offer in this world, our society, our family, our environment. We all have something to offer to ourselves!
The problem with worth in the 20th and 21st century, or perhaps in the history of mankind, it is set by some arbitrary lines drawn by those who have made certain “worthy” accomplishments. We have been duped in believing that only the Gates, the Zuckerbergs, the Obamas, the Oprahs, the Betancourt, etc. are the only ones who have something to offer because their contributions have been colossal in terms of money and impact. Fuck that bullshit meant to hypnotize us!
Anyone who calls you worthless, isn’t worth your time. Anyone who says that to another person in your presence, unless they are holding a gun, tell them to fuck off and politely invite them to deal with their own demons and insecurities. People who demean others in such profound ways aren’t worth anyone’s time. Are they worthless? No, they are not even if they appear to be. They just need the proper guidance and some extensive and unfortunately expensive therapy.
That is a word that invades your psyche, cuts off your growth and enslaves your mind. It puts you in a hole you will have a hard time climbing out of, I assure you. It has a devastating effect in a subtle and slow manner. It chokes your self esteem and breaks you in pieces. Voilà. Simple as that.
Stay away from anyone who uses that word. Never let others determine your worth. You matter, you are not worthless, you can never be, and you will never be.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!