Assigning value to other human beings. By far..the most cruel thing we’ve learned to do to one another.
I had a splendid spiritual advisor once. She likened my occasional mean tone and snaps at a loved one to spitting into his food. Shocking analogy, but my reddening cheeks told her that I understood.
“Imagine laying a meal in front of Jesus. Would you even think of doing such a thing to HIM?” Whether I believe in the established church system (which I do not) or believe in a prophet Jesus (which I do), I instantly got it.
I could go on about the definitions of assigning value, bla and bla. I will create a fairy tale instead.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful prince besieged by a foul curse. A witch had placed a spell upon the eyes of his subjects. Even though he was one of the most beautiful sights on earth, all anyone was tricked into seeing was a troll. Even when he would look in the mirror, that’s all he could see. The cruel spell held fast and true to nearly everything within the kingdom at the time of her cruel enchantment.
Yearning for a bride, the prince felt it was time to invest energy to find her. He knew he couldn’t find one amongst the people of his land, because of the reach of the witch’s spell. He found a beautiful girl from another land.
He brought her home. He sang her hours of songs, fed her meals, stayed by her side as much as he could (to the point of neglecting his soon-to-be kingly duties), did tricks and showered her with gold. He was delighted and so relieved he finally found his bride.
What the prince failed to realize was that she too was affected by the horrible spell cast long ago. She had been born in his kingdom at the time of the spell. Her family moved to another town a few years after her birth. She also saw a beastly apparition overlying the truly handsome prince’s face. However, she was crafty enough, greedy enough and willing to deceive the prince into believing he was the most handsome man she had set her eyes upon. And he believed her.
On the night of their engagement, the prince was beside himself with joy. He had the cooks set about preparing the grandest dishes with the choicest and fattest of fowl. He had the halls rubbed down with the most intoxicating and luxiourious oils. He was overcome.
Tragically, the faithless bride had taken a liking to a stable hand days before. She had come to believe in her mind that she couldn’t bear to be with the “troll” and decided she would run away with the stable boy instead.
(For those who may find a tug at your heart because you feel you know where this is going..I offer comic intermission. As the whorish and deceitful bride was running towards her barnyard boy’s home…he mistook her bounding shape, in the fields..in the dark, for a charging steer. The slattern was tagged with an arrow between her eyes from fifty yards out. No, the stable boy never knew what he actually shot. When her body dropped, he went back to sleep and never thought on it again)
Now. Witches doing what witches may do, she had cast this spell upon not only one baby but many across the lands. Not just baby princes but princessess as well. One of these princesses, although it was a beast she saw in the mirror as well, caught the true sight of our prince one day.
She was beside herself in joy; she’d never thought that she would ever find her own groom for when she took over her own queenly duties. She, fortunately, had been told the legend of the horrible witch’s deeds of casting spells. Not only could she see his true lovliness, she came to understand her unattractiveness lie only in the mirror..not truly on her at all.
So, off she went to seek the prince’s hand.
She sang him songs, as he yawned half hearted interest at the not so captivating beauty who came to call. She kept him company, dropping him hints of what he actually looked like, as he smirked and waved off her words as the ramblings of some poor ugly lass who was desperate for whatever a future king could provide. Obviously, he was not privvy to the fact that she had great masses of treasure waiting for her at home- regardless of what he had or didn’t have.
She tried for many days. Gifts, ballads, dances, holding his hand upon many twilight walks through the gardens. Her evergrowing adoration becoming more intense as he continued keeping her by his side. What she didn’t realize was that he was doing so reluctantly. She didn’t appear to be what he wanted to look at, but until another beauty came along..he would put up with her “piteous” company if only to not be completely alone.
Needless to say…well…there will not be an end to this story of mine.
I’m off track anyway.
The point is that we are all guilty of assigning value to others we meet in this life. A man may spend his last dime on an alleged beautiful creature and put up with all of the verbal abuse he can take from her..just to have her walk away from him-the roots of his heart trailing behind her. Without reason nor explanation. We are so sick with this assignation factor. The chance this man will end up inflicting the same upon another is, sadly, very possible. Despite him knowing the depths of pain this inconsideration brings.
It doesn’t matter. He is a creature, like you and me, determining who gets the “goodies” of what should be default respect of dignity-often on first impressions alone.
I won’t say that I ceased all of my childish snaps towards my aforementioned loved one. However, whenever I play that image of me spitting into the bowl of Jesus..the lesson is relearned. Quietly. Humbly.
Every eye roll, rude interjection, hours of loving work ignored…..
Every assault, slap, theft….all to one degree or another require one individual sizing up the other one and purposefully and quickly assigning points to figure if it’s “Okay to treat them thusly”.
Imagine a man who gushes over an ugly duck shaped ash tray, let’s say, the POTUS presents to him. He’ll brag over that ugly duck thing for years. Yet, if his neighbor brought it to him, beaming over the hours it took for her to make it, he would toss it into the bin hours later , without a twinge of a thought.
Dear and quiet shame…how we do this to one another; usually without knowing barely anything about another human being.
We stop doing that….wow, right? In the meantime…shame on us.
I’ve been on this path plenty of times and my legs still work.
My concern are the ones who collapse along the way..who could have brought yet other vulnerable souls the realities of their precious worth.