The Measure of Man

High School

I was pretty intense inside when I was in high school. I suppose that is nothing new or unusual. Many young people have strong feelings about things. I really go hugh up on the meaning of life. That's not a good thing to get hung up on in your teen years when peer acceptance is so importnat. It makes you behave in erratic and polarized ways, which can simultaneiously drive some people away and attract others.

My Question

Anyway, after some fairly serious ruminations one day, I approached my social studies teacher, Mr. Miller. He was pretty intelligent and yet jaded with life. He had a dry sense of humor and yet he was approachable. So after class, I asked him, in all seriousness "What is the measure of man?"

{{ callout(text="... he just chuckled and told me ...") }}

Naturally, he just chuckled and told me many of the best minds had pondered and were still pondering that question. I guess I didn't really expect an answer, but I kind of half hoped that he might offer one, and that would be better than any conclusions I had come to myself.

Wrong Tree

Well, years later, and after a good introduction to reflections on my life so far, I feel the question is a red herring. If you are asking yourself this kind of question, you are barking up the wrong tree. The only possible answer will result in a comparison game with others. And the basis of the comparison will be different from one camp to the next.

Everyone will have their answer and that answer will be driving those in that came crazy trying to overtly or covertly outdo each other to get on the top of the heap.

Comparisons Based on Connections

This question predecides that man is to be measured.

{{ callout(text="...This puts us back in the rat race.") }}

If man is to be measured, measurements are made for comparisons. The value basis of comparisons comes from our connections to our fellow humans. These are attachments. This puts us back in the rat race. It discourages introspection and exploration of our own lives as we enter the competition to outdo our fellows or make excuses for why we don't want to.

The Question

In this blog post, I'm just writing about my reflections on what I have learned or realized over the years. I am not going to say "This is the question" although I think that that sort of answer is getting a bit clearer for me now. I'm just offering this to those who like myself asked the same question I had for my social studies teacher.