I overhead a conversation at our local public pool yesterday between two girls who were, at my best guess (and I’m terrible at age guessing), around eight years old. It went, loosely, something like this:
Girl #1: “Hey, where are your Nutter Butters? I hope there are five left. I told you that you had to give me five of them if you wanted to hang out with me.”
Girl #2, hanging her head and pointing: “Yeah, they’re in my bag, over there.”
Now, I can’t for the life of me understand the social value of Nutter Butters, however, I know that they are not nearly equal to the cost of this poor Nutter Butter holder’s dignity.
Besides raising my blood levels a notch or so, this exchange made me pause and think about how we exchange our own value for the wrong reasons.
How many times have you found yourself lowering your standards, or offering up something that holds value to you – your time, your energy, your efforts – to appease or gain the approval of someone?
How many times have you judged yourself as not measuring up, and conceded your own dignity at someone else’s command?
I haven’t often held the “new girl” status, however with our recent move I’m faced with not only building up my daughters’ confidence against these sorts of social exchanges, but also my own. Each of us will be navigating new relationships in our new town, in our new social circles, and in our new extracurricular activities.
The message, at age eleven, at age fourteen, and even at age thirty-five, is still the same.
Know your worth. Know your value. And don’t give up your Nutter Butters just to have a temporary seat at someone else’s table.