by Dr Amelia Stephens
Last night when going to bed, a particular word came to me to consider – and this was preciousness.
This is not a word I have spent much time thinking about in the past, and was certainly not a word that I felt pertained to me. Being ‘too precious’ is something I know is not encouraged, and people still tease others for this apparently being the case.
What does it mean to be precious then, and why do we as a society still not value this quality within people?
Firstly, what do we understand when we call something precious?
There are precious gems – that are considered highly valuable, or we might have our own belongings, or people in our lives that we consider to be particularly precious.
From this we can see that something precious can have immense value, as we appreciate what it is or brings to us, for whatever reason.
When we see ourselves as being precious, we realise the immense value we bring to the world, and thus treat ourselves accordingly.
Treating ourselves as precious, means that we take on a whole new level of care in how we do everything. From how we brush our teeth, wash our hair and prepare our food or clothes to leave for the day, to how our rooms are arranged when we come back to them at night, we know that all of these factors have an impact upon us and thus pay very close attention to their detail to ensure they are just right for us.
We are often not taught from when we are young to treat ourselves with this level of regard and care, and thus develop ways of doing things that ‘get us by’, but if we are deeply honest do not actually serve us in full.
We can rush, harden and develop a rougher exterior than we would otherwise have. This rough and tough exterior is where the teasing others for being ‘too precious’ comes from.
When we remove ourselves from our own preciousness, we don’t value it and can also be confronted by it when we see it in others (though not necessarily on a fully conscious level). This teasing is actually immensely harmful, and devaluing of the person it is directed at.
Lack of valuing our own and other’s preciousness creates all kinds of problems in our societies. Men feel like they can’t be sensitive, and women do not treat themselves with the level of regard that they truly deserve. When this happens, men toughen, fight each other and feel like they need to be bigger/musclier than they naturally are. Women have a tendency to rush, feed themselves last and allow abuse in relationships, just to name a few.
When we don’t value ourselves, and others with this depth of precious care, that we all truly need, we do everyone a disservice. This is because our immense value, and potential of what we bring to the world is minimised – thus a crime against humanity!
I put this point to you today – if you started to see yourself as truly precious, what would you change?