VALUED VS. LIKED
I read a meme the other day that said, “There’s a difference between being liked by a man and valued by a man. A lot of guys like you. Not many value you. Be valued.”
On our moral compass, all human beings want to be valued. But, we also want to be liked. Why does it have to be one or the other? I’m just brazen enough that I want both.
But what does it mean to be valued? Per the dictionary it means, “Considered to be important, beneficial; cherished.” My inner 10-year now wants to go down that rabbit hole and ask, what does important mean, what about beneficial and cherished? See where I’m going… wanting to get to the deeper existential meaning?
I have this philosophy I try to live by, it’s one that was instilled in me as I began my journey to find the god of my heart and prayers. I didn’t want a religion, and still don’t, but I wanted to know the spirit I called out to in my darkest moments, in my highest moments, in my quiet moments. I lived in a world of tragedy and it had me question the very fabric of the universe, the very heart of man. What I witnessed was cruelty in its highest form and my small mind couldn’t understand it, but became determined to live a life contrary to it. I was raised among greed, selfishness, anger, violence, shown a world where I saw taking, but never giving, hating but never loving, anger but never peace. You hit first, or you’ll get knocked down. Take or it will be taken from you. Be a better liar, because you’re always being lied to. It wasn’t wrong, that was the world I witnessed, but it was a world I didn’t want to be a part. For a while I lived it and realized it was a never-ending cycle. The world was never going to change for me, but I also learned I had the power to change MY world. So, I made myself a promise to be better that what I had given. To be a blessing to those in our life, and not a burden. To always leave a place we’ve been better than when we left it. As a guest, be courteous and thankful. Give thanks, show appreciation, be understanding, and always be honest.
Yes, people will still take advantage, lie, and mistreat us, but our actions can’t be based on them, only on ourselves. We are not what happens to us or what others do to us; we can’t control the actions and decisions of others. Who we are is how we respond and what we decide to do. That’s our character. We can color it, paint it, disguise it, lie about it, make excuses, blame everyone else, pretend, present a false picture, but the truth of who we are will always eventually come out, because it is evidenced in not only the ‘big’ things we do, but mostly in the little ones…today, every day, after day, after day, after day.
Everyone can pretend for a little while, but time will always reveal the truth. We also leave a footprint of our true character… just look behind us and see the path we leave behind. Is it one filled with victories, accomplishments, and love… or chaos, heartache, and one disaster after another? We can all pretend to be anything we want, and even lie to ourselves about it, but if we want to know what kind of monster we really are? What footprint do we leave behind?
Being this way won’t always lead to us being liked by our fellow human beings. In our minds, we think it should, but it doesn’t. When we take the high road, we are often resented instead of liked, because we become a reflection and most people really don’t like about themselves.
I believed most of my life that my mother hated me because I was unlovable and unwanted, but I’m beginning to understand that my stubbornness, by courage, and my strength were the things she lacked within herself and she hated that reflection, not me.
While I may not be liked by many people, I am valued. Those that know me, or have known me, know my character, my soul, my heart. Those that don’t know me and don’t like me, more than likely don’t like themselves. I can’t help that. That’s their problem, not mine. I used to care, but I don’t have time for all that wasted energy. I’d rather pour that energy into the people I love and care about, into myself, into my job, into my goals and aspirations.
While I’d love to be both liked and valued, I’d rather be valued. Like my face, like my ass, like my smile or my eyes, like my stuff, like my accomplishments, none of that stuff is really important and I refuse to be a person who lives their life trying hard to get that approval from the world. As for me… value me as a person. The friends I have in my life – I don’t always like them, but I love and value them. Sometimes I like them, but let’s keep that to ourselves.
What about you, reader? Are you a person that would rather be valued or liked?
Till next time,
~The Valued T.L. Gray