I’m a ‘Big Sister’ to a nine year old girl. We’ll call her Dee. If you ever want to do something cool for a kid, become a Big Sister or Big Brother (shameless plug for those guys). Dee has a little stuffed Webkinz dog. We’ll call her Biscuit. (No, that’s not her in the photo…I must protect her identity 😉 )
If you’re unfamiliar with Webkinz, they’re stuffed animals that come with a code. You go to the website, register, plug in the code and voila. You have an online, animated version of your pet. You do stuff to earn ‘Webkinz cash’ so you can buy your pet food, clothes and furnishings for their online house. Trust me, little Biscuit has a much better apartment than I do.
Since Dee got this little dog, it rarely leaves the crook of her arm. And the fact that the little thing always looks like she needs a bath, is proof of this.
Anyway, one day I was on an outing with Dee. We were out most of the day at a parade, to the mall and then grabbed something to eat at a restaurant. When we started walking to the bus stop, Dee stopped in her tracks.
Where was Biscuit?
Dee runs back in the restaurant and quickly comes back.
When did you have her last? Was she with you till the end of the parade? Do you remember having her in the mall? When we went in the restaurant?
Yes, she’s sure of it.
It was hard to look at the worry on her face. She was trying to be cool, but I knew if we didn’t find Biscuit, things would not be good. We go back in for a better look.
Happy ending. Biscuit was hiding under the table and hard to see at first (I still say she was scrounging for dropped french fries). I found Biscuit and when I handed her back to Dee, all was well in the world again.
It really made me think how we place value on things…and people.
It’s all about perceived value.
The value Dee has placed on Biscuit is high. She has invested her love, her secrets and much of herself into that little dog. And what is she? A little scrap of fabric and stuffing (that retails for about $14.99!). But she doesn’t see her like that…to her she’s real and she’s her friend. Biscuit is priceless and cannot really be replaced. At least in her eyes.
If we hadn’t found her, what value would have been placed on Biscuit by the person who did? Probably not much. They may have dropped her in the lost and found, given her to another kid or even thrown her away.
So what’s my point?
I plan on writing about working for peanuts, working ‘on spec’ (free) and entering contests. But before I dive in, I want you to think about this:
What value do you place on yourself and your skills?
Now, I’m not trying to create a bunch of ‘divas’ here. The world has plenty of people over-valuing themselves (and most of them seem to be on reality shows).
I’m talking about not under-valuing yourself. If you have talent, that has value to someone. Aren’t we all paying for stuff we can’t do ourselves? If you can draw and someone wants you to draw for them because they can’t do it themselves…that’s worth something. And too many people want that for free.
I’ll expand on this in the next post. Right now I gotta get back to work (the work I’m being paid for 😉 ). So in the meantime, think about it. If you don’t place enough value on your talents or abilities, why should anyone else?
Are you a ‘Biscuit’ or are you laying in the clearance bin with a bunch of others just like you?
Update: Total coincidence, there’s a post today over at Copyblogger about this very thing but with the point of view from a writer. Check it out.
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