Sometimes, measuring things can be helpful. Knowing how many miles it is between here and the park where you’re meeting your friends is good information to have. If it’s a mile, you might choose to walk. Five miles? Perhaps a bike ride. Twenty miles or more? Well, maybe driving or riding the bus are better options.

Other useful measurements:

  • How many cups of chicken stock go into this recipe?
  • How long are my legs? (Useful for buying pants.)
  • What temperature does my garden soil need to be for my vegetable seeds to germinate?

Not all measurements are useful, though. Some things simply can’t be measured (even though we spend a lot of effort trying).

Can we measure how smart or resilient a child is? An academic test like the SAT, for example, only measures the results of that specific test.

Can we measure the amount of love a person feels on their wedding day? Is this more or less love than they feel the day their child is born, or the day they say good-bye their beloved dog companion?

Can we measure beauty? Can we measure goodness, or gratitude? Can we measure happiness?

No. Some things really can’t be measured.

Can you measure your worthiness in the world by looking at a number on a scale?

Nope. Not a chance.

Christy Brennand

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