To say a person has worth or value formulates only half a sentence. It begs two questions and raises a third: Worth what? To whom? Who says? These questions reveal a search for a source, a valuer, an authority behind the action of attaching worth. This quest implies our awareness of a person larger than us, who initiates relationships with us. Our parents stood as the original superhumans in whose eyes we wanted much worth. Now as adults, when we feel worthless, we ache with the dangling half-question. Do I have any value? We used to seek evidence from Mom and Dad of our importance to them. Though we no longer look to them as our source, we have not yet identified a new one. We spin our wheels with the unanswered questions of our half-sentences. We wistfully yearn for some authority to come along and fill those gaps that our parents left.
Dennis Gibson, The Strong-Willed Adult