Chapter 01 – Study Group Questions

Chapter 1

Who Is Worth It?

Reading retention tip: review the following questions BEFORE reading this chapter. Use your journal to capture answers while you read.

How do material possessions:

  1. reflect worth?
  2. help or hurt your desire to be paid what you’re worth?
  3. help or hurt your desire to pay others what they’re worth?

Care to comment (in the comment box below) on one of chapter one’s study group questions?

back to classroom 

12 replies on “Chapter 01 – Study Group Questions”

This exercise was very eye opening for me. I found out that I have lost my attraction for a lot of material things that I absolutely must have or protect. I find much more meaning in cultivating relationships

How do material possessions reflect worth? Growing up poor I thought that having things were so important. I guess because I never had a lot. I can remember one Christmas that my stepdad didn’t get drunk and ruin it. It was also a year that we got several presents each. So when I grew up and got married I thought the more I have the more it shows that I am worth it after all. It has taken me many years to get past that ideal of myself. I still find myself wanting furniture for some reason. Even if I can’t use it. lol. Material possessions don’t reflect your worth. They may show the outside world that you’re doing ok. Or it shows them that you are living beyond your means. My worth is tied to my own understanding of my soul and spirit and how that soul and spirit can be of service to others.

Chelsea, I also used to love furniture also. Now that I do not have a job, I am grateful to have a bed and a desk. I love reading and I love books, so I would love to have a book shelf, if I could get my brother to help me with transporting it once I find one. I think with all the places I lived and having had to move multiple times, I started thinking and feeling that if we did not have so much stuff, life would be easier, but still we still need those things when we are raising a family. When I was raising my kids is when I wanted furniture and a home for them. But then in thinking back to it all, half the stuff we did not really need or barely used. The idea of living as simple as possible started to look better with every move.

As it is I am living in a home now in Boston that I know will not be permanent. We are living in the home that my grandfather (my mom’s dad) built. My brother who never married plans to sell the home one day and move to a warmer climate. I also want that for myself. We talk about places to move when we are ready to move so living simple for now is ideal with our plans. Since I am a widow and he does not plan on marrying, we are planning to find a simple place to live out our life once my mom passes away. It seems that we never know what our future holds as we can plan them but we have to live in the now anyway. It’s fun to talk about plans and dreams we have.

I also love to just go wherever on the spur of the moment, so I always have a back packed, just in case, someone says to me, “Let’s go on a road trip.” It’s funny that I am always ready to go somewhere but do not have the money to travel now.

My dad gave us a good life. I never felt poor. My dad was a Filipino man working in sales as a door to door salesman, selling insurance for Combined Insurance Company. My dad’s sister was a seamstress and every year we had brand new clothes for school, which she sewed. I never felt that our family lived in lack. Before we moved to the US, we lived in Japan. My dad was there to repair the ties between Japan and the Philippines, so we lived a semi-diplomatic lifestyle. I was young then but can remember that we had an obasan and a houseboy and other maids. My mom would go get her hair and her nails done every week. We enjoyed life there. When we arrived in the U,S. of America, my parents had the money to put down on a home, which was on a street that led down to a beach. I had an amazing childhood. As for material possessions, I left everything behind me when I left Hawaii. I mean everything. I did not bother to pack stuff and have them mailed. I put things in boxes and hoped that my sister would pick them up. I was starting a new life and gave up my past. I only had memories but even those things I had accumulated while raising my family was just from memory. What is interesting to me is that my memories are not about things but mostly people and enjoyable moments and times I had. What makes me feel my worth is that I have done things, met people and experienced things that have been a once in a lifetime experience that others have not had and wish they could have. I am at a point in my life that I wish to live simple. I don’t want all the material things like I did before. I want to feel free and have deep and personal relationships with others. I am so happy that I can be here in Boston now to help care for my mom. I am glad I can be close to her again. I also serve in my community with the Saint Vincent De Paul Society. My soul says be light, be free, be free to serve and that is what makes my spirit feel good.

I sensed a shift when I realized that none of the material possessions could replace people I love. I am so grateful I have this time to be with my mom right now. I do know this much…that I will one day leave this earth and no material possessions can come with me.

I just wanted to share a poem that is one of my favorites.

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

My answers to Chapter 1 study questions:

How do material possessions reflect worth?
Material possessions reflect financial success but have nothing to do with what I am worth as a person.

How do material possessions help or hurt your desire to be paid what you’re worth?
My desire to be paid what I’m worth is increased by the
prospect of living at a more comfortable standard and having nicer things.

How do material possessions help or hurt your desire to pay others what they’re worth?
I suppose it could be a detriment if I were to pay someone less just so I have more to buy things for myself, but being generous and paying people what they are worth has never been a problem for me.

WOW! Such important study questions! Until this course I never gave much thought to worth in my life. Now that I have the opportunity to reflect…
Material possessions often reflect our worth when others look at our possessions. Take for example, the majority thought of a person that owns and drives a Mercedes Benz. Is it perceived that this person is a person of worth perhaps even far beyond financial worth?
Material possessions can also reflect our perception of our own worth by how tight we cling to them and how we might use them as a shield to hide behind in cases of low self worth.
Material possession help my desire to be paid what I am worth As I look around I know I am worthy of material possessions that serve me best. This requires taking the action required to grow so that I can be paid what I am worth.

How do material possessions:

reflect worth?
help or hurt your desire to be paid what you’re worth?
help or hurt your desire to pay others what they’re worth?
I believe that material possessions may reflect worth to people looking on. If one has a lot of material possessions others looking at their lives may think they are worth much more than what they maybe feeling inside. Material possessions just give you an outward worth or physical worth as in dollars, but do not really have anything to do with your inner self worth.
I suppose human nature is set up that normally one wants material possessions, so they in turn desire to be paid more or what they are worth to be able to earn these material possessions. With me I do not desire many material possessions, but I do desire to be paid what I am worth, making my inner self feel like I was appreciated and worthy.
Knowing how society is set up and that other people need material possessions in this world too, I am always happy to pay people what they are worth physically and give their inner self a boost of confidence if I can also. I know that by paying them what they are worth it will also make me feel better about myself.

Most of my material possessions are gifts from people whom I love and cherish. So, I find myself feeling a deep sense of Gratitude for my physical possessions. I think this predominant feel.. an attitude of gratitude is gong to be a Big Help in my desire to be paid what I am worth and to pay others what they are worth. How cool is that?!

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