Friday, March 14, 2014

Some things just ARE

In trying to find attribution for a quote which I remembered vaguely as "not everything that counts can be counted," my first source credited Einstein.  Further investigation seems to disprove that.  Too bad, for I can see Einstein as a guest on the old Muppet show, had they existed simultaneously.  He might have sung.

"In 1967 Lord Platt writing in the British Medical Journal deployed the maxim (about counting). He cited the 1966 article just mentioned, and hence he also credited Stephen Ross [LPSR]:

"Research is supposed to train the mind into channels of scientific (and therefore respectable) thought, but does not this kind of research sometimes encourage the erroneous belief that only that which can be measured is worthy of serious attention? “Not everything we count counts. Not everything that counts can be counted,” was wisely said by Dr. Stephen Ross." (article here) Much truth to be found in, "...sometimes encourage the erroneous belief that only that which can be measured is worthy of serious attention?"

It has been months since the mental jukebox had a tune waiting for me to wake up.  Today it was "Inchworm," possibly retrieved from the depths by thoughts and discussions a few days ago with a friend just back from a group tour of Cuba.  With chronic (invisible or not) illness or disability, one often learns to live a highly adaptive life.  I believe all lives are adaptive, for making-do is how the world works.  Some adjust to it more painlessly than others.  Descriptions of the Cuban people they met, sharing of stories they heard gave flesh, dimension to a population from whom we are estranged by politics and its inflexibilities.  Neither lack nor plenty defines us, those are only circumstances, the counting, the measuring of things.

More than 50 years ago I dated a man who, when someone told him they'd had a book published, would ask how much it weighed.   It was not his only annoying trait.

For good and for ill, there exists an infinite catalog of things, of matters that just ARE.  Grief is one of them, beauty another.    I have no idea what either of them weighs.


Antares Cryptos said...

Enjoyed this post.
Things ARE. But I sometimes wish they weren't.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Thank you. Yes, I sometimes wish they weren't also. One of my last stamp collections offered, "It is what it is." And shall always be, or so I imagine. xo

Kass said...

I don't know why "Inchworm" always made me cry as a child.

I love the way you think because it makes me think. How do we "measure" anything? I know scientists and philosophers talk about rigorous and conclusive examination to establish worth or value, but I hate the idea of being rigorous about anything at this point in my life.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - The song still makes me cry (and smile) today. Thank you, for I often question my thinking. It is what I have, no changing it, still I welcome company. I, too, have lost any appetite or ability for the rigorous. If intuition can't solve it, it remains a mystery. xo