Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Why do we Americans allow our self worth be defined in numbers?

After all, it doesn't matter:

What your annual income is.

The size pants you wear.

How long you stayed in an abusive relationship.

Whether you came in 1st, 101st or dead last in your last triathalon.

The statistics or lack thereof on your blog.

How many sexual partners you've had.

Your IQ score.

Whether you've indulged in some 420.

How many awards you've won. Or haven't.

The amount of times you've tried to quit smoking or lose weight.

The running tally of places you've travelled.

Your age.

How many times you've reinvented yourself and started over.

Your klout score, number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.

Life isn't paint by numbers.

Your quintessence is innumerable.


Cerebrations.biz said...

Some of us like numbers, Marie...But, the trick is to keep them to ourselves, for our own uses...

Joy Page Manuel said...

Loved this post Marie! And p.s. don't ever think of competing with me as far as numbers on the weighing scale go. You'd lose!!!! hahahahha!

SherilinR said...

maybe it indulges the urge to feel like we're in control of some parts of our lives. like we've got a handle on things and know our place in the world.

Sine said...

I don't think it's just an American thing. But I've also found that living here in Africa has mellowed me a lot in that respect, here I'm much less driven by numbers and more by quality (of life, and everything). I've read somewhere once that it is a Type A vs Type B thing as well, with many Africans falling more into the Type B column (and we all know where Americans fall, but as I said, it's not just Americans). If that makes any sense.
PS: I will now go and obsess over that tiny number in your word verification box so i can post this comment.

The Loerzels said...

@ Roy-That means you're not defined by them like some people are.
@Sine-I'm a Type B girl myself, except over that word verification box!

Samantha Bangayan said...

Such wisdom! =) With every line I read, you had me thinking, "Now, why do I worry about that number, again?" =)

Miss Riki said...

Indeed, why do we sweat the numbers? The numbers on the scale are what plague me the most, but I found myself nodding in recognition as I read down your list.

Rachel said...

I agree with Sherilin that numbers provide order and have the comforting effect of letting us know where we stand in the world in relation to others...although I think this is the very thing you oppose - that our individual lives should be reduced to numbers and classifications, and moreover that we should have to act or think in accordance to these boundaries.

What can I say? Many of us are sheeple and it does not even compute that we CAN think "outside the box". I don't know that it is bad to have a population of sheeple, mind you, as long as there are still those who are willing to break free and question the accuracy and relevance of what are often human-created - and therefore mutable - barriers and restraints.

I'm pretty sure you're not one of the sheeple. ;-)

The Loerzels said...

@ Samantha-Wisdom and me in the same sentence? Weird.
@ Riki-Throw out the scale.
@ Rachel-I love the term sheeple! I may steal it...

Anonymous said...

Surely I wasn't the only one who read that post and totted up of their answers to the questions asked!

MuMuGB said...

Ah, numbers! Sometimes I wish that we could live without them, but we can't. Numbers are always running in my head too. Tough but true.


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