The question “What can you offer” comes up wherever you go; be it you trying to sell yourself and your skills to a potential employer, enquiring about services at any/every kind of service-provider, or in the dating game.
It’s a give and take wherever you go; even with faith. Most of us- it is in the human nature, and so for a very good reason- turn to God in our moments of dire need. We always want something: be it a blessing, a breakthrough, a spouse, a better job, healing, strength, love, forgiveness, or even peace. We always ask for something.
Trade-by-barter: Human beings haven’t changed much, to be honest. Although a medium now stands between the exchange of goods (a.k.a. “money”), in reality it is still nothing more than an equal exchange of a) that which I have, and b) that which you want.
This is especially true for human relationships: platonic friendships, friends with benefits, romantic relationships, and marriages. We expect to get something from the other; to derive some (basic or major) pleasure, satisfaction, benefit.. while allowing the other to equally use us.
In whatever relationship, both parties involved are expected to bring something to the table; and I recently had to ask myself “What have I to offer?“.
It started with
– I love God and live for Him
– I love, value and respect myself
– I am educated and constantly desire to grow and know more
– I am humble, embrace correction and am respectful towards others
– I am well-mannered, have high moral standards and principles
– I posses a great measure of self-control etc.
but I quickly got carried away.
In my stream of thoughts, I got overwhelmed by feelings of n-o-s-t-a-l-g-i-a.
I had classical music playing in the background while I worked on the list, and suddenly added, as though the realization had just hit me in an instance:
– I learnt how to play instruments and can (still) read and write notes.
I used to take this for granted; having been educated at a school where this was the norm. And the memories came back:
I’ve had a rather extraordinary educational history. From the numerous schools I attended, to the lessons I was taught, and classes I was forced to take. Then, it made little sense; now, I am proud of all these.
– I learnt how to sew, knit; how to draw and sketch.
Taking these classes or not for years was never a choice, it was expected. As a matter of fact, I did not even have the option of not choosing them. They were classes as “normal” as German, English, Maths and Biology. They were simply on the curriculum. Today I see people wanting to learn how to do these things (on a basic level) and I smile. I know how to.
– I learnt Latin. For so many years, reading texts and stories, poems and letters in their original form.
Then it seemed like an unnecessary burden, a task no normal human being should be forced to undertake; but today I appreciate it. I read words in Italian, Spanish, or other languages I never learnt, yet understand what they mean- simlpy because of their Latin root.
– I have travelled and seen enough to know there is always more to learn, know, and discover in life.
This is something most people will not consider a “big deal”; but it is precisely where my humility and knowledge stem from. It is what causes me to read books and people, and see like as a whole made up of parts that have not come to understand their worth and importance. It is what reminds me of the fact that I am no better than any other person; that both our similarities and differences are what bind us together. It is what reminds me of the big picture.. and the reality that no matter how much I learn, grow, discover, I will never fully understand life.
– I have experienced enough to accept the fact that there are things I can, others I cannot change.
..and I stop(ped) here.
Not because I could think of no other things to add to the list, but because I realized that the more I thought about myself, my life, my experiences, lesson I’ve learnt, the longer the list got.
And it is the same for everyone else! We often overlook many of the blessings we carry within; many of the valuable lessons we’ve learnt, many of the personal changes we’ve gone through to make us better people, to make us who we are.. because we do not spend enough time looking within.
I spoke to a couple of people who all agreed they had “nothing to offer”. This naturally hurt me, as I found it very sad that there were people (so close to me) who saw themselves as “worthless”. This- it goes without saying- is a lie from the pits of hell! Everyone has something to give! Everyone has something important to offer! There is always something inside of you that others can greatly benefit from- be it a friend, a lover, or a foe. You have something to offer! We often belittle ourselves; minimizing our good, while maximizing that of others. [Of course there are those narcissists who generally maximize their’s, while minimizing others’, but these are (hopefully) in the minority.]
For most of us it really is a “struggle” figuring out just how much we can bring to the table. There is a popular song which says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one..” I want you to do exactly that. Take some time out and do some soul-searching. Make it black on white, write it down on paper, let it be visual, visible. There are numerous wonderful treasures within you that you have not fully discovered (yet).
This ignorance- permit me to use this word- is what leads us to look down at ourselves, allowing others to treat us beneath value, simply because we do not know just how much we’re really worth.
So, whether you are selling yourself for a new job, to a new partner, or competing for the acquisition of a material good, make sure not to sell yourself short. Although you most probably will, let your buyer know and feel he is gaining at least as much as you by meeting your need. You are not ordinary, you are special!
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson