relative worth, merit, or importance: the value of a college education; the value of a queen in chess.
monetary or material worth, as in commerce or trade: This piece of land has greatly increased in value.
the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged or in terms of some medium of exchange.
Did you have a valuable Thanksgiving this year?
Looking at the paper upon our return from the Midwest, I came across the story of a young man who spent his Thanksgiving in a way he valued.
He camped out in frigid temperatures for 36 hours in front of a store that was to open Thursday evening. His mother delivered a foil-covered paper plate of the family's Thanksgiving leftovers for his dinner. He was successful in purchasing a 50" HDTV for $229. He says he'll do it again next year if the televisions have a similar discount on Thanksgiving Day.
Ironic, I thought. We spent about the same amount of money this man saved on his TV in order to - you guessed it - have Thanksgiving dinner with our family! We held my mother-in-law's hand in the nursing home, listened to our niece play her flute (we slept in her bedroom next to her trophy for best national soloist), ate dolmados and pastisio at our nephew's birthday dinner, and watched football all together, comatose on turkey, mashed potatoes, and rum cake. We connected with two of Ted's siblings and their spouses and kids, and met the new wife of another nephew. On the last day of our visit, Lauren and John drove down from central Illinois, and everyone got to meet our grandchildren for the first time.
Not too long ago I watched a documentary on Netflix simply called "Happy". It seems a psychologist realized that psychiatry was all about pathologies - what goes wrong to make people feel bad or lose touch with reality. But why are some people happy? The field of research into happiness caught on. The video goes around the world to highlight some conclusions of the ongoing research into this question.
It opens in a hovel in a slum in Mumbai. (How terrible, you think guiltily. The owner of this shanty earns his daily bread pulling a pedicab in his bare feet through the streets. We see the man eating breakfast with his family (squatting in the dirt) and going off to work in his rags. The narrator says, "Would it surprise you to learn that [the man] is as happy as the average American?"
Well yes, actually, I was surprised. But indeed, the man spoke of his joy at seeing his children at the end of the day. He calls his shack "a good house". He sees no reason not to be happy!
Turns out that material goods - once the necessities are met - have no bearing on happiness. Much of our happiness set point is genetic. BUT - Three factors that do bear upon happiness are: spend time every day doing something you love, feel that something you do every day is meaningful, and spend time every day with people you care about.
Our Thanksgiving was valuable. I hope yours was too.