More Than Money
Issue #41

Selections from 2001-2005

Table of Contents

“Excerpt From: What Do You Do? The American Question,” MTM Issue 36”

“SO,what do you do?” - When that question is asked of me, I often feel as if the questioner is using my answer to make judgments about my value to society or to them. Do I make a lot of money? Am I powerful? Am I somebody they want to talk to? Am I important enough? Am I successful by their standards? Those are the questions I suspect they are really asking me when they say, “What do you do?” I know that some people, at least, make assumptions about me based on my answers because sometimes I do it, too...

In our More Than Money discussion group, we have talked about the importance of trying to figure out what the underlying question is. What does this person really want to know? So I began to try an experiment. I stopped assuming that people are asking me what I do so that they can judge how much value I have as a person. Instead, I substitute the belief that they are curious about me and want to know what I do with my time, what is important to me, what we might have in common, and how we might connect. This shift in perspective has produced a wonderful result: I no longer feel my self-esteem being threatened by the question.

—Molly Stranahan
Molly Stranahan strives to be loving, open, respectful, accepting and nonjudgmental. The legacy she hopes to leave is that those whose paths crossed hers found that she brought a smile to their face, their load was lightened, or they learned a new way to think about themselves and their lives that brought them peace and serenity.


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