The Value of Things

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

I am a 30-year professional, and this is the first time in my career that I have been a part of a company that has been acquired. What began as something exciting quickly turned into something that caused me great insecurity and anxiety. It was clear that the ten plus years that I had given to my former company was now obsolete and of very little interest to the “new company” and its leadership. Initially, I was dedicated to trying to make my worth known and trying to get the new leadership to recognize my value. But that was exhausting and only added to my insecurity.

One man’s treasure is another man’s junk, is another man’s treasure, if he is lucky enough to recognize its value. It is true that when people inherit something they tend to disregard its value. It is recorded that many people have found great treasures in thrift stores. For example, in a thrift shop in Sydney, Australia a man purchased a Chinese cup in the shape of a flower for $4. The cup ended up being a 17th century piece made of rhinoceros horn, and eventually sold for $75,640. Likewise, in England, a cracked wooden pot was spotted sitting near a bag of household items that had been donated to a hospice charity shop. An employee opted to rescue the pot, only to discover that it was meant for calligraphy brushes and was carved between 1622 and 1722 by celebrated Chinese artist Gu Jie. The pot was purchased by a Hong Kong collector for $470,000.

It seems, much like things; the value of people can be lost in translation and transactions. However, the reality is that things of value don’t lose its value because someone is not able to perceive it. The $4 teacup was just as valuable sitting on the shelf of the thrift store as it was sitting in the museum. The cracked pot was just as valuable sitting on the shelf of the hospice shop as it was sitting among the other collector items. My 30 years of professional experience is still of great value, and I am just as valuable today as I was yesterday, even more so because I have yet to witness the fullness and greatness of my value. So with that, I will continue to persevere and perceive my great value.

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