What Is He Worth

Author and commentator John R. Gunn writes, "A prominent citizen was mentioned in my presence one day and I asked 'what is he worth?' The answer was, 'half a million'. That's the usual way of estimating a man's worth in terms of dollars.

In the trade world when one wants to know what a man is worth, he turns to Dun and Bradstreet to get his rating; however, a man's true rating is not determined by what he owns in money and property. There are men of great wealth who are paupers intellectually, morally and spiritually. Such men are a liability rather than an asset to society. There are other men who have no rating at the world's board of trade, but who are worth a fortune to society in terms of the higher and more worthwhile values."

Among the colossal figures of human history stands Shakespeare. When he died, he left only a few hundred pounds to his family, but he bequeathed to mankind a legacy of noble thought and beautiful sentiment of far greater value than all the gold locked up in the bank vaults of England.

George Washington gave to America more character than Wall Street has in a dozen decades. The contributions to our national life made by our Washingtons, Lincolns and Jeffersons far exceed those made by our money kings.

Certainly, we should not decry men of wealth. Many of our money kings have been men of kingly character and have administered their wealth for the common good, but the mere fact that a man has accumulated a pile of money, does not afford a true rating of his worth.

The true rating of any man is in terms of manhood not mamon, character not chattles, deeds not dollars. The moral and spiritual value of a man gives the only true measure of his worth.