To give your pearls to swine means to give or show something valuable to people who won’t or can’t appreciate it.
When I was a kid, I heard many sermons about this expression. As a kid, I never really understood why anyone would take something as beautiful as a pearl and throw it to a bunch of pigs. The whole idea sounded ludicrous to me. I thought, no one in their right mind would ever do that.
As I got older, I realized that the expression was a wonderful idiom that can be applied to many areas in life. It wasn’t really about pearls or pigs and as I later discovered, it was about so much more.
One of the ways I used to give my pearls to swine was by being too nice to people who deserved otherwise. I was raised to be nice to all and to say nothing if you don’t have anything nice to say. I was trained to be a nice girl.
Well, as I matured I realized that there are times where you shouldn’t be nice. There are times when you should be extremely unpleasant.
For example, if a patient shows up 1 hour late for his appointment and then demands to be seen in your lunch hour, that is not the time to be compliant; that’s the time to be firm and unpleasant if necessary.
This patient has no respect for your time or your practice. It is better they leave unsatisfied then for you to subject yourself to that kind of treatment. You deserve people who respect and value your time and your expertise. Don’t give your pearls to pigs.
The point I want to make in this short article is that not everybody is worth your time, attention or even words.
The most valuable treasure you have to share is you. Your time, your heart, your skills and your essence are priceless. There is no one else with that exact combination that is you, and that makes you a priceless treasure.
You deserve to be surrounded by people who value and celebrate you and that include your friends, your family and your patients. If there are people in your circle who do not value and celebrate you, it’s time to pick up your pearls and get out of the pen. You don’t belong there. You deserve better!
In this article I gave one example of how you can give your “pearls” to a patient who doesn’t deserve it. Can you think of some other examples? In what ways do you see others giving their “pearls” to “pigs”? Share your comments below.