No matter who you are, every person has infinite worth to Christ.
A popular TV series showed a scene in which a father hands his son a $50 bill and asks, “How much is it worth?” His son, surprised, replies, “$50.”
Then, the father crumples, crushes, squeezes the bill and, taking it between his fingers, shows it to the son again and asks him, “And now? How much is it worth now?” The son answers again, “$50.”
The father nods and, while still showing him the bill, says, “Get this into your head: Nothing that others do to you affects what you are worth. Even if they hit you, even if they insult you, even if they spit on you … Nothing they do to you, and nothing they say to you, changes who you are or what you are worth.”
This scene moved many people, of all ages. It was a message that this society needs. We have to reinforce the self-esteem of our children very much, because we live in a society that functions, more and more each day, as a jungle where anything goes; where there are no limits and where charity is an endangered virtue, absolutely unknown to a high percentage of the population.
If only we had a “vaccine” that would inoculate us with antibodies against wickedness, cruelty, envy … Just the right amount so that those sins would never invade us again. A vaccine that would make the majority of the population be infected, on the contrary, with empathy, positivity, delicacy, tact, and tenderness.
Since no pharmaceutical company can provide us with the hypothetical vaccine I just described, we need to be aware that our only tool to achieve this goal is education.
We must teach our children, from a very young age, that they and everyone else are worth more than $50. In fact, they’re worth no more and no less than all the blood of Christ: not a drop less.
So, a person who dresses well for school and another who never takes off the same old threadbare sweater are worth the same thing: all the blood of Christ. A student who gets good grades and another who doesn’t even try are worth all the blood of Christ.
Someone whose family has their last name on an Ivy League school building, and someone who lives in a homeless shelter, are worth the same: all the blood of Christ. The star of the soccer team and the clumsy kid no one picks to be on their team during physical education class are both worth the same: all the blood of Christ.
All of us—parents, teachers, camp and extracurricular activities instructors—must strive to achieve excellence in charity. We have a lot at stake.
If we manage to make charity govern our children’s relationships, we won’t need emotional cranes to raise their self-esteem, and the world will be less hostile and a little more similar to Heaven.
But, to do this, we have to help them live true charity, not a charity that never takes them out of their comfort zone. For a school-aged child, real charity can be, for example:
- Not settling for collecting or donating money for the poor, but making sure that no classmate is alone at recess;
- Not bragging or showing off when we get good grades or stand out athletically;
- Not laughing at jokes at the expense of a classmate who is being belittled or bullied;
- Choosing for your team that classmate you know no one else will pick.
Excellence in charity has to be more important to us than sporting excellence, and even academic excellence. It means clearly understanding and acting on the value of each and every person: all the blood of Christ.
We cannot be good Christians and act as if all those people for whom Christ shed all his blood do not deserve our smile, our greeting, our kindness—in short, the best version of ourselves.
Let’s remember and teach our children that, no matter how badly a person is treated or how much he or she is despised, the same is true for him or her as it is for the $50 bill. They’re still worth the same: all the precious blood of Christ.