What My World's Like

Value: Look Deeper



by Khalilah Yasmin

I woke up today and remembered a dream that I have frequently. I dream about someone that mattered to me and was taken from me. And that dream got me to thinking about ‘value’. As I look around me and the world we live in, a lot of our values are distorted.

The way in which we judge our significant others, our friends, and the people we choose to entertain, is taken very lightly. It saddens me. While it is not uncommon anymore to see a woman with a man just for his finances, what about when they run out? The same can be said about a man for a woman. Many people place value on things that are not constant and everlasting. I’m not about to give you the paddy cake riddle that ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’.

Allow me to go deeper.

Since I was a child, I was always very observant of people and my surroundings. I stare. I dream. I imagine. I began a game with myself for fun that I would imagine everyone I know, in an assembly line as long as it could go filled with people I know. They all are lined up, naked, bald, and void of all material possessions. If we could see the people around us in this way, it would allow us to see what we really like/dislike about the person.

Take for instance, the “Good Hair” phenomenon. How many men and women would not be as aesthetically pleasing to you if it were not for their clothes, hair, and make up?

What about Tyrone? He hits on you every time you see him at Roscoe’s. You turn your nose at him simply because ‘he looks like he cannot even purchase a meal’. Why can’t you be his friend?

Sure, he’s simply a waiter (as far as you can see)… But what if Tyrone came into $30 Million dollars and started driving a Lamborghini to his part time job at Roscoe’s? Is that when you’d decide to finally give him your number and get to know him?

Or do you take a chance on Tyrone and find out that Tyrone is a lot more than what he appears to be on the outside?

Allow me to flip it.

So you’re dating Renee’. She’s beautiful on the outside. Her parents are wealthy, and by association so is she. She never needs anything from you financially. And you enjoy being around her because of the attention you get to be on the arm of a beautiful woman. Do you enjoy Renee’s conversation? If she were to undergo surgery that destroyed her good looks, would you still find yourself with her? Be honest. Not with me, with yourself.

John is a successful basketball player about to sign a major contract. Would you still be his girlfriend if he had not been scouted that day? If he was still playing street ball at the neighborhood park and working at Best Buy, would he still have the same value to you?

I performed an experiment a month ago. I went shopping yet was dressed in sweats, and tennis shoes. Nothing fancy. I purposely made myself look simple to see whom would help me in the clothing stores I went to. I had plenty of money to purchase anything that I wanted. And out of 6 stores, it was the last store that finally decided to not take me at face value. I asked people for help in each of the stores. I told them what I was looking for and was treated as if I was a bother. The last saleswoman helped me and I explained to her my story.

This weekend I went to the same stores, but I was dressed in clothing that made more of statement. I made it a point to simply walk in the stores that I went in before. I was thoroughly responded to…

How many people pass up potential over the basis of material possessions?

And who are you putting up with based on what they have?

My point:
You cannot obtain success by sitting in the lap of someone successful. You are not rich because the person you are dating is. Beauty fades. Beauty is accidental and most importantly fragile.

So I ask you to do this, right now: close your eyes or look into the distance, imagine 5-10 people that you are close to or find ‘value’ in. Line them up side by side in your imagination, remove their clothes, remove their hair, and material possessions. Lastly, remove their face.

Is this someone you would still choose? Is there anything within them that complements or intrigues you?

Personally, I practice this exercise daily as second nature. So if you’re in my life and I make time for you, it’s because I’ve lined you up, I’ve removed all of your clothes, shaved your head, burned your wallet, erased your face and still found something worth keeping….you.

Peace upon and within,

Khalilah Yasmin is a writer, poet and model, “intrigued with life and sharing my stories/triumphs.” She tweets at @KhalilahYasmin and blogs at www.khalilahyasmin.com.

Image source: Michael Oswald

5 Responses to Value: Look Deeper

  1. If you have friends like that in real life, that must really suck. This is why I kinda feel sorry for celebrities. Everyone wants to be their friend but when their fame is gone or their good name dragged to ruin, their so-called friends are gone. Usually, it’s not just about the shallow things like beauty or money. There are people who will take advantage of us. Only befriends us when they needed something from us. (yeah, I’m kinda guilty of doing this myself.) I’ve read here http://sn.im/uxpjq about people who can suck the energy out of you. People you don’t need in your life. People who don’t value you as a friend.

  2. Real good on cue can we test that together

  3. Absolutely. Join the party.

  4. Thanks for reposting this Leandra!

  5. This was a wonderful read for me Ms Khalilah. Thank you for sharing it!

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