11-29-18 Letters and Commentary

There’s only one you What’s your value? How can you truly know your worth? I recently read about a nickel that sold for over $7,000! It was a 1942 “s”. It again sold for a (much higher) unknown price. What makes that nickel so valuable? It’s uniqueness. There were only a few 1942 “s” nickels minted, and none were actually minted in San Francisco. The value of that nickel is whatever someone is willing to pay. On the opposite end of the value chart would be currencies without intrinsic value. Printed over and over again, for example, every dollar without real value (like gold) as its basis, devalues every other dollar in existence. That’s called inflation. So that’s a comparison of high value and low value. Then there’s “priceless”. That’s when value is unassignable, the value being so high it is outside our experience. Some huge precious stones, like some diamonds, are labeled “priceless”. Now how about you? How many of you are there? Agreed. One. That’s pretty unique! No one is like you. No one sees the world like you do, from your eyes and with your unique perspective. No one can relate to the world like you can from your unique experience. And no one can love God like you can from your unique heart. Maybe that’s why God made you. You have a uniqueness that others cannot see or understand. But God both sees and understands who you are and why you are. And John 3:16 says He loves you. There’s the key. God loves you, therefore you have value. Christ died for you, paying for your forgiveness and eternal life with His own blood; therefore you are priceless – of inestimable value. Don’t believe anyone who devalues you. Their opinion does not matter at all. God values you enough to trade His Son’s blood for your life. His opinion does matter. You are worth much.

Seasonal work can empower you Soon after school begins in the fall, many businesses begin advertising for seasonal workers. It’s a good way for people to make some extra income during the busy holiday season or ease back into working. The diversity of jobs appeals to many people. Each year, companies also hire for seasonal work-from-home positions. These jobs include: customer service, sales, tech support, call center representatives, healthcare support, order taking/review, and more. Seasonal positions may help bridge employment gaps on your resume. They show proven experience and that you are ready, willing, and able to succeed. They also can help you to develop new or strengthen existing skills through training. If you receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), special rules make it possible for people to work and still receive monthly payments. If you want to try working again, seasonal work may help you ease back into the work force. Read Working While Disabled at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf or visit our Ticket to Work website at https://choosework.ssa.gov for more information. You can also get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But if you’re younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced, although not dollar for dollar. Your benefits may increase when you reach full retirement age. You can read more about working while retired at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html. Getting back to work can empower you in a number of ways. Social Security is here for you throughout your life’s journey — at each step of your working life and beyond. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.