Our society has a lot of flaws. That is no secret. You know it, I know it, your second cousin twice-removed hair dresser's dog probably knows it. I'm not here to go on a rant on all that is wrong with society today and how it needs to change. I do, however want to call attention to an age old problem that I don't see changing any time soon, and that is how we put way too much emphasis on "success" as reflected by numbers. We as a society overdo a lot of things. We overthink, overcommit, overmedicate, and most of all, we overmeasure.
From a young age we are conditioned to care about being the best; and if we can't be the best, we better be better than the worst.
So what are some of the measurements we use to determine who is winning at life? In sports we use scoreboards. In fashion we use tape measures. In education we use IQ.
For students it's GPA, standardized test scores, how many college acceptances you got.
For adults it's income, how much of a financial cushion you have, the cost of your house/car/clothing.
For parents it's the number of gold stars your child got at school or how many cookies you made for the PTA bake sale.
We even rate people based solely on their appearances. (I 10/10 would not recommend doing this).
Don't even get me started on the detriment that social media can be when it comes to this. Instagram likes are one of the most visible ways we use to measure who is 'popular' and 'cool'. I am just as guilty of this as the next person, but I still think it is heinous.
My question is, why? Why do we do this to ourselves?
What purpose does it serve?
How does it better us?
The theme of the camp I worked at this past summer was the Final Score. It was meant to teach kids that, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what our 'score' in life is, because Jesus died on the cross for us: He won, so we win. As someone who has struggled with comparison, this message really struck a chord with me. It didn't only apply to the elementary school-aged campers, but to me as well, probably even more so. I think we can all identify with that at least a little bit.
Measuring to the extent that we do hurts more than it helps. It disables us from appreciating one another's differences and our own unique talents. It clouds our vision from what truly matters. I challenge you to step off the scale (physically and metaphorically), delete your Instagram Followers app, and take more notice of quality, not quantity.