How Deep Is Our Worth?

A teenage girl walked up to her mother demanding money to buy a fancy watch. Puzzled, her mother asked, “Why do you want a fancy watch?” The girl replied, “Because it will help me fit in the social circle.”  Without a pause, the mother took out a crease-free INR 2000 note and questioned her daughter if it would be enough to buy the watch. “Yes!” the teenager excitedly said.

The mother calmly replied, “Sure. I will give it to you, but first, let me do this.” She crumpled the note up and said, “Do you still want it?” The young girl said, “Yes, mom!”  “Well,” the mother continued, “What if I do this?” She dropped the note on the ground, picked it and asked subtly, “Are you still willing to take this note?” The girl nodded.

Her mother then explained, “Sometimes, we feel small in the eyes of others and try so hard to fit in. During this, we often forget that no matter how crumpled we feel, we can never lose our inherent value.”

Moral: Our worth stays the same – it is independent of the opinion of others. 

The mother retracted the crumpled note and handed over an old watch instead. “Here’s the watch your grandmother gave me. It is almost 200 years old. Go to the watch store, tell them you want to exchange it for a new watch and see how much they offer you.”

The young girl went to the store and returned a while later. “They offered me INR 1000 because it is so old,” she said. “Well, if that’s the case, try the pawnshop,” the mother replied. The daughter did as told. “The pawnshop offered a mere INR 200 because it has a scratch,” she sighed.

The mother then asked her to take it to the museum. The daughter reluctantly went to the museum and returned with a smile. “The curator offered INR 375,000 for this watch! They want to include it in their precious antique collection!” she exclaimed.

Moral: Our worth varies – it is dependent on the opinion of others. 

Her mother explained the contradiction, “All of us carry an internal and external price tag. The internal one is how we value ourselves and, since it is the opinion of one person, it stays constant. Whereas when it comes to the external one, it is how others value us. Since we have so many ‘others’ in our lives, this number varies.”  The girl understood that her mother had driven home an important lesson.

Our worth never changes. However, it is the people we associate with that bring out the best or worst in us.  Perhaps that’s why we often are known by the company we keep!

Worth, Adapted, Attitude


  1. Its all about self actualization, while being a part of the diverse surrounding! Nice article !

  2. Good one!
    But in today’s world, the number of people visiting museums is very less compared to the number of people visiting showrooms which have brand new stuff. Surely, the ones who love to visit museums and check out antiques have a “high class taste” but same is with the ones who go in showrooms and like to buy so called “branded and cool stuff”. How one should understand which route will lead to higher value? Museums or Showrooms?

    PS: I am using museums and showrooms just for an example and would really love if you can throw light on knowing and deciding where your value is higher.


  3. Best message Sir, but one thought always comes in my mind if our worth is constant, but still depends on others in external world, then without them, we will crumble as everything depends on them and if we continue to path ignoring opinions then we are still at the same place without company. At last what matters valuing self without growth or valuing others’ conclusion destroying self? Value is always in the eyes of observer same watch was valuable for the museum, but old for a watch store… With the right company, our worth never gets diminished rather we become part of their journey…

  4. Very nice lessons shared Sir!
    I can relate this to my life, not exactly with the e.g. of girl requesting for money from mom to buy watch but due to how people within my bigger family (excluding parents) valued me and my parents on several occasions. My value in their eyes only lighted up during good times but when me and my parents had some down, we were the last to be given valued!
    Yet what remain constant was my moral values that I got from my parents .. It never changed and eventually and still keep increasing infinite times every day!
    Sir.. Request if you can share your thoughts on this if possible.. Thanks again for sharing such valuable lessons!

    Yours faithfully,
    Geet Chaturvedi
    Sr. Executive – Presales, Cybage Software Private limited.

  5. Hello Arun, I’ve been to your special sessions in Cybage and I must say that I read this story aloud just to feel how you would’ve narrated it in your session. Not just for fun, but to absorb it better. I love reading all your blogs and learn a new perspective towards several imperative aspects of life, success, business, job, and so on. Thank you for sharing these valuable pieces of gems with us.

  6. Very good blog

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How Deep Is Our Worth? - Arun Nathani Blog