Let me count the ways…

To my brother, a dear quantifier.

I’m realizing more and more that I am a quantifier. I like life that can be summed up in numbers and terms, additions and subtractions, yes and no. But, life isn’t like that.

I love tests. I get so much satisfaction from filling in bubbles that match with numbers that answer questions. So systematic. So much logic. Papers, on the other hand, drive me nuts. There is no right or wrong answers, just words and paragraphs to wade through, to contemplate, to think about. There isn’t one magic letter or number to circle, but rather a story to struggle through, viewpoints to consider. There is nothing quantifiable about papers. They take thought and imagination, and frankly a lot more work.

We quantify things all the time. We have reduced our bodies to calories and cells. No longer do we consider what we’re actually putting into our bodies, we worry about how many calories or grams of this or that our food contains. We are so much more than cells and calories, we are imaginative, alive, and brilliant. Our souls are connected to this, our minds are in tune to our bodies. Our bodies cannot be quantified to something simplistic like that.

We quantify experiences to dollars and cents. Instead of truly enjoying the ride and journey, we worry about how many dollars this cost or how many hours of work was needed for it. It is easier to rationalize things this way. It seems easier to keep track of things that way, somehow a way to be responsible. I’m learning that this way is not the way, it creates fear and worry and leaves no room for generosity and love.

We like to know answers. We like concrete concepts and rules, but often this just isn’t the case. Daily I am being taught that life cannot be quantified. In order to live fully, we must accept that there often is no black or white, but rather a grey worth considering and wrestling with. We have to be ok with that. God did not call us to a black and white life, in fact I think he loves ambiguity, the not knowing. It is what makes us trust him.

So, today I will live qualitatively. I will think about issues in regards to long answers. I will talk to people and not see them as having one position or another, but having a position that may have valid points, even if it is not mine. I will be ok with not knowing. Today, I will not simply be content with filling in bubbles, but will write an inconclusive essay, a poem up for interpretation.

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2 thoughts on “Let me count the ways…

  1. Emily,Your blog post was a pretty good attempt at qualitative (not quantitative) thinking. I hope you wrote that poem and pinned it on your wall. I’m enjoying following your Australian adventure. You really brought a smile to my face this afternoon with this post. It made me think of a song from the ’60s: Little Boxes.Watch Pete Seeger singing it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN3rN59GlWwKen

  2. Emily,Good job on right brained thinking! Welcome to my world. Now, I just need to be a little more Quantitative! You will be a big help to me as I struggle to understand Carlos through the years! :)Enjoy the journey!

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