Date of worth | Sex in the Suburbs

We didn’t share the same first language, so when I walked up to the pharmacy and gave my name, her next question sounded to me like “Date of Worth?”

Which got me wondering:

What if everyone acted like each person had a “date of worth?”

What if each and every human being walked through life being reminded through filling out forms and answering routine questions that we all have worth?

I mean, birthdays are fun for many of us. There’s often cake and presents and the excitement of getting more grown up.

Later on, people who are aging or who have been through a significant illness celebrate with a reverence of uncertainty about whether this will be their last birthday.

But what if we each had a worth-day?

What if everyone had an annual celebration and reclaiming of the importance of each and every person, a reminder that your life means something and that there is some inherent worth in your being here, on this planet, at this time in history.

I wonder what the impact would be. Would we be kinder to each other? Less judgmental of people who have made choices we don’t agree with regarding their bodies, their relationships, their families?

Would we be more careful with those bodies? Would we make sure each child understood how precious they are and how important their bodies are?

Would we teach relationship skills as religiously as we teach math or reading at all grade levels? In high school, would you be able to take Honors Relationships?

Would we make sure all youth had accurate, up-to-date information regarding how to keep their bodies safe? Would we make sure they knew about consent from a young age, honoring when anyone in a relationship says “yes” or “no” or “maybe if….” to a request for touch? Would we provide better health care and reproductive care to everyone because we realized how very much each body — and each part of any body — is worth?

Would we be able to realize that some people not only haven’t had the luxury of health care that covers contraception and other reproductive care, but also have not been fortunate enough to grow up in families that understand boundaries, teach respect for oneself and value integrity?

If someone really messed up and hurt another person with words or actions, would we send them to intensive relationship and worth rehabilitation because we would recognize that when people lash out at others, it is almost always because they don’t feel OK about themselves in some way?

I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I think it is worth considering them.

Happy Worth-Day, everyone.

Amy Johnson is a trainer and educator in the Pacific Northwest. She specializes in sexuality education and in promoting safe and healthy sexuality culture in faith communities. All opinions are her own. She can be reached at

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