What Am I Worth?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this week, with no Internet connection and only the sound of crickets to keep you company, you’ve probably heard a little news story about Facebook going public today. After the company’s opening trade on the NASDAQ this morning, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is said to be worth upwards of $20 billion (<<that’s a “B”).

Let’s see … once you subtract my student loans, the mortgage and one car note from my “assets” (we’ll throw in life insurance & retirement savings, for good measure), then hopefully my net worth is slightly higher than zero.

It makes me uncomfortable to hear all the talk about how much Zuckerberg is “worth.” I don’t know the guy, personally, so this is just my very distanced impression of him, but he seems pretty down-to-earth. From what I understand, he’s dated the same gal for years, so he doesn’t strike me as a ladies’ man. He goes against the grain of traditional office attire (something I don’t have the guts to do, since unlike him, I’m not the CEO). He seems like a typical Gen-Y young adult.

Sure, he’s filthy rich … he was even before this morning’s IPO … but is that what he’s worth?

Although it sounds appealing to be independently wealthy and not have a financial care in the world, I don’t think I would like the attention that comes with it. I don’t ever want to be defined in dollar terms. My self-worth is defined by far more than how much (or how little) money is in my checking, savings and retirement accounts. And, as much as I want my kids to grow up and have successful careers, it is more important to me that they find a meaningful life passion. Teaching, ministry and many other careers have invaluable “worth” that goes far beyond dollars.

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