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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

How Do You Measure Your Worth?

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: May 9th 2012

tape measure Self-worth has been a pervasive issue in our culture. There’s often a sense of falling short of measuring our worth against the next guy or current celebrity figure. In an old issue of Wired Magazine published in 2003, a survey found that if you sell every usable part of your body, including your bone marrow, your physical body might be worth about $45 million. This got me thinking. If our body can be sold for $45 million, then what is the true financial worth of a living human being? 

If we really think about it, what is the worth of our most advanced robots of the day, with the highest caliber artificial intelligence that doesn’t even compare to the advanced and mysterious life of an actual brain?  Titan is a robot designed by Nik Fielding that is priced at $7 billion and still doesn’t come close to an actual human being. 

The human being is so complex that neuroscientists have only begun to scratch the surface of the how the brain works. 

If someone came to the government and presented artificial intelligence that was remotely close to the inner workings of a human being, my guess is the price tag would be in the hundreds of billions or even beyond. But, this isn’t my specialty, however, our sense of worthiness as human beings is. 

So the next time you begin to question yourself worth, know that you are a miraculous human being that even the most genius human beings could never replicate. We couldn’t even begin to create a tag price because we’ve only seen glimpses of what the human potential holds. 

Your price tag is beyond what any government can pay. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

some see you worth - - Jul 23rd 2012

i am sorry.

price-tag for a body-bag - Myrna Corona - May 10th 2012

    To paraphrase, you say that the government couldn't begin to pay what we are worth?

   As a newly homeless individual, and supposedly "high functioning" according to my therapist, I am gaining the impression that welfare recipients (and all invested in helping their situation) do come with a price tag. What I've learned (with the budget cut in mental health [Regan]) is that we are cheap beings.

   Did you know that a DSS rep screamed at me for seeking temporary shelter because it didn't occur to me to go shopping for an apartment without cash (TA); pretty ironic financal lesson considering the housing bubble epidemic.

   Did you know the temporary shelter where I am staying (Little Portions) is owned by a lady who is well known by the homeless community for having very little empathy for our set-backs; she makes it clear you are trash that (ironically speaking) should be out of her house!

   Did you know that I am no more than a deli-ticket? Outreach coordiators do their job trying to save the county tax dollars on ER visits, but they certainly don't know or have the time to learn about my value characteristics; sometimes I wonder if they remember any of us at all. My homeless predicament would have been met with more expediency and seen with more value had I had 6 children I couldn't afford, a drug addiction, and a severe mental health problem; nevermind the rational mind.

   It's been especially difficult to hang on to my self worth in an "insane" environment, when what I've experienced was paradoxically obvious: help is available, but we don't want to help".

Difficult - - May 9th 2012

I find it difficult to have any self worth. I get drunk and say stupid things. I then regret and then want to end things. The cycle happens over and over again.

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