From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – Happy New Year! The end of Christmas holidays and the turning of the new year always makes me want to clean up and clean out. So as part of this preoccupation, I cleaned out my jewellery boxes and then took some jewellery to the repair shop for various reasons.
One item that I took to the repair shop was a pair of earrings that I have had since my twelfth birthday. I
spent that birthday in Holland, and the second wife of my great grandfather gave me the earrings as a gift.
The earrings clearly were not new – and were probably a pair that she no longer wanted – but I liked them. I
am not sure whether someone told me that they were valuable – or whether I just concluded that they must
be – but for all these years I have been keeping them with my other “real” jewellery and have considered
them to be gold earrings with rubies.
I took these earrings and some other things in to be cleaned and polished. The man at the counter laid out
my precious “real jewellery” on a pad and began looking over each piece. He glanced at my precious ruby
earrings and pushed them to the corner saying, “metal and glass.”
What?? It has been a long time since I turned twelve and over all those years, moves and incarnations, I have considered these earrings to be valuable and important. If I had cleaned them at home, I would still believe that they were gold and rubies.
Do the facts alter the facts? Does the label from the jeweller change my earrings? Does his assessment make my earrings less precious? I can’t decide, but I know that the question makes for good musings. How does a label change things? How does classifying, assessing and tabulating skills change worth? Does it have to?
If I’m being honest, all I know for sure is that the earrings from Holland – now all cleaned – are shinier to me
than the other gold earrings with rubies that proved to be “real” when they came home from the shop.
Treasure what’s real to you.
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