There is no such thing as intrinsic value. Value is always something imposed, given, subjective. A human life is no more important than an ant’s. But we, generally, value the former more than the latter, due to a number of reasons, the most common being they are one of our own. An ant maybe a highly intelligent creature, for all we know. They might have deep psychological issues, the possibility of which was explored in the opening scene of the animation film, Antz. Thus, when we set about creating value, it is not that we are creating value for the masses, or even ourselves. We are simply creating, and then it is up to us, or the masses to decide whether what we have created is of value after all. But, the question that gets inevitably raised is, is that important?
Is there value in wanting to create value? I want to do purposeful, meaningful, valuable things as much as the next person. I may think they are of value to me, or to mankind in general and therefore, in turn valuable to me. For example, when I am reading, it is purely for the purpose of self-value. I am reading in order to feel better and make myself better. But, wouldn’t that make me better for others? What if I am reading directly to make others better, say to solve a a riddle that might lead to a treasure in a secret island, or do something relatively mundane like teaching a class?
We’re constantly making value judgements on our life choices, and justifying one in relation to the other. Work is always in relation to play and vice versa. What we choose and how we choose to look at either is us imparting and creating value for both. For example, though writing may be a hobby for you, your valuation for it may be equal to that which you have for your work. Thus, even if the writing doesn’t pay, or possess any number of random properties that subjectively make work work for you, your classification of it may not be so smooth after all.
So, is there a point after all in wanting to create value? There is, if that point/value is something you want to impose on it. And even if you don’t, even if your stray, rushed efforts at something, say a doodle on a napkin in a restaurant, may still end up being of value to others, without you ever having the conscious intention of doing so. So might, I hope, be the stray, rushed efforts of a blogger on a Monday in November, who writes to keep her NaBloPoMo promise. This valuation for quantity is making her feel quite lacking in the quality department. And yet, she is desperate to move forward, or she’d be swearing at herself if she didn’t. She almost believes she should sign off each of her posts this month by quoting her goddess, Miss Catherine Bush:
Be kind to my mistakes.
For today, dear faithful reader, and for the rest of this month.