Just How Much Are You Worth?

Just how much are you worth?

You.  All of you.  In fact every last little bit of you.

Let’s be clear—I don’t mean your net worth or your gross salary plus bonus…

I don’t care about the value of your stamp collection or that old car you have been hanging on to or, in fact, any of your possessions, homes or whatever.

Further, I am not interested in how your company can’t get along without you and just how lost they’d be without you.

I just want to know how much you think you are worth.

Here is a hint:

About a buck – one U.S. dollar. That astounding number is arrived at by looking at the makeup of the human body and calculating the cost of the water and chemicals that form our basic composition.  Lest you feel bad, if we throw in your skin we can up the ante to close to $5 – now there’s a bargain! See for yourself here

And lest you continue to feel bad and unworthy – another study calculates the cost of the chemicals in greater detail and is ready to go to about $160.

Already I’m feeling better….

Ah! But what if you take a big-picture view? CNBC did a piece last year on how much your organs and such are worth and figured that you could get upwards of $5,000 if you negotiated well….

But that’s so Old World – so analog, if you will.  Wired magazine recently broke down the cost by body part and even a couple of years ago assigned the body a $45 million price tag – if you start including marrow and DNA. In this much-commented-on article many asked, “Where do we sign up?”

So there you have it – simply put from $1 to $45 million, and if you lucked into the higher stratosphere your beneficiaries – assuming they got over missing you – would no doubt sing your praises for generations: “Ummm — $45 million….”

Clearly I haven’t even touched on the slave trade – but in that environment – you could be worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to the right folks in the right place, and you might get lucky enough to escape or get promoted….

So what are we really worth? Seems that advances in science have made us more valuable – and that’s only the shell!

What about our IP? Our essence? Our soul?

Priceless? Or maybe not…listen:

“I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.” Benjamin Franklin

Maybe we have valued ourselves and our lives in the wrong way? Maybe the $1 value is a great humbler and not a terrible devaluer.

So if we can’t agree on the front end because religion and land and economics and politics and whatever get in the way – how about we see them as false estimates of our bottom-line value and begin from that lousy buck…

At first I was appalled – I took the valuation as a dangerous way to make life even cheaper – in a world where it has become cheap enough.

Yet – on second thought I saw it as I wrote it – a great and powerful leveler.  At the end of the day – strip it all away and there you have it….

What’s your view?

Next week, Part Two:  Your Digital Value.

A hint – are we confusing “value” with “value”? Would you trade in your kidney for an iPad2?? A bad science fiction plot…or a front page story?

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