To be born as a human being is a rare thing, something to be grateful for. But being born as a human being is worthless if you spend your whole life in a mental hospital. It is worthless if you worry about not having money. It is worthless if you become neurotic because you cannot get a prestigious job. It is worthless if you weep because you lose your girlfriend.
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They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, Do not do as they do, and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.
2 Kings 17:15
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Worthless is the charity of the man who bestows it unwillingly, because material charity is not his, but God's gift, while only the disposition of the heart belongs to the man. This is why many charities prove almost worthless, for they were bestowed unwillingly, grudgingly, without respect for the person of our neighbor. So also the hospitality of many persons proves worthless because of their hypocritical vain-glorious behavior to their guests. Let us offer our sacrifices upon the altar of love to our neighbor, with heart-felt affection: 'for God loves a cheerful giver'
John of Kronstadt
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Does everyone feel this way? When I was young, I was perpetually overconfident or insecure. Either I felt completely useless, unattractive, and worthless, or that I was pretty much a success, and everything I did was bound to succeed. When I was confident, I could overcome the hardest challenges. But all it took was the smallest setback for me to be sure that I was utterly worthless. Regaining my self-confidence had nothing to do with success...whether I experienced it as a failure or triumph was utterly dependent on my mood.
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Does everyone feel this way? When I was young, I was perpetually overconfident or insecure. Either I felt completely useless, unattractive, and worthless, or that I was pretty much a success, and everything I did was bound to succeed. When I was confident, I could overcome the hardest challenges. But all it took was the smallest setback for me to be sure that I was utterly worthless. Regaining my self-confidence had nothing to do with success... whether I experienced it as a failure or triumph was utterly dependent on my mood.
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... the friendship of worthless people has a bad effect (because they take part, unstable as they are, in worthless pursuits, and actually become bad through each other's influence). But the friendship of the good is good, and increases in goodness because of their association. They seem even to become better men by exercising their friendship and improving each other; for the traits that they admire in each other get transferred to themselves.
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If you paid me for work," continued Max, whose rhetoric was more sophisticated than you might expect from a man with food in his beard, "I wouldn't have to feel worthless. There's not law says old people have to feel worthless all the while, you know. You paid me, I'd have some dignity." Now it was Mile's turn to nod and smile agreeably. "I think the dignity ship set sail a long time ago, Dad.
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Life only has the value a person gives it. If I killed you here and now, yours would be worthless and no one would mourn you. Is that really what you want? (Sin) I don't own my life. It means nothing to me. (Kish) Then it means nothing to anyone. But if you had your life again, would it still be worthless? (Sin)
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Normally we divide the external world into that which we consider to be good or valuable, bad or worthless, or neither. Most of the time these discriminations are incorrect or have little meaning. For example, our habitual way of categorizing people as friends, enemies, and strangers depending on how they make us feel is both incorrect and a great obstacle to developing impartial love for all living beings. Rather than holding so tightly to our discriminations of the external world, it would be much more beneficial if we learned to discriminate between valuable and worthless states of mind.
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There's only one way to know if people are good or evil: look at the choices they make. We each contain precious and worthless, great and small. Never injure the great for the sake of the small, or the precious for the sake of the worthless. Small people nurture what is small in them; great people nurture what is great in them.
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