On worth, and what it says about our values

February 07, 2017

For a long time, it’s annoyed me when people talk about somebody being “worth” a certain amount of money. I know that I’m a pedant, but this feels so wrong to me.

When someone is injured or killed, and their relatives take the negligent party to court, compensation claims shouldn’t be based on the person’s income or wealth.

Similarly, when a football team wins a trophy, the story shouldn’t be about the amount of money that the club will get from TV rights - it should be about the glory of winning, for its own sake.

Maybe we need to move from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset, and beyond that, stop putting financial values on everything.

Human life can’t be measured in money, and a person’s worth is certainly not based on the amount of money that they have in the bank. Is Bill Gates “worth” more than some peasant in rural Mongolia? What about Rupert Murdoch? Surely we should be judged on our actions, not on our bank balances.