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For Good Measure


How do you measure life? I’m not talking about monetary value, although I suppose that’s one potential way to do it — fortunately the Ford actuarial team saved us the math by setting the cost of a human life at $200,000 when deciding not to spend $11 on a safer gas tank for the Pinto. I realize any measure we ascribe would be arbitrary, subjective and debatable. Still, the exercise might yield some guideposts for living. 

So, how would you go about measuring life? Do you measure it in duration? The time we spend above ground feels like a reasonable metric. It also seems insufficient. After all, it’s not enough to just have a pulse. You could measure it in distance (places you’ve been), experience (things you’ve seen and done) and impact (lives you’ve improved). Spirituality, goodness, accomplishment… descendants? With so many possible variables, an index is a reasonable approach. Then there’s the question of scale. How do you measure the love you give or the health you have? And let us not forget relative importance. A proper index calculation would need to be weighted. 

The preceding gives us enough fodder for a framework. I’m sure that given enough space and time I could arrive at a formula we can all disagree on. Unfortunately I’ve already rambled on longer than is my custom, so I’ll leave it there and grab a donut while I ponder it some more. 

Happy Friday!



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