Counting Life

“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”

I came across this quote a few years ago and it’s one I’ve always liked. It’s supposedly said by Albert Einstein, a great scientist with the signature bushy moustache and disheveled hairdo.

It’s a quote that can be somewhat confusing with it’s play on words. What it is really saying though is that of all the things in this world that you can”count” doesn’t always mean it’s important or “counts.” At the same time, things that really matter or “count” cannot always be quantified.

For example, material objects like the number of cars you have, or the number of watches you own doesn’t always mean that they are the only important things in life. There exists things such as “love,” “hope,” “kindness,” and “compassion,” which are things that cannot be counted nor quantified.

Yet these things are very much important in our lives.

There is so much in life that we cannot see and cannot touch, yet they are sometimes the things that allow us to call our very own existence “life.”

Perhaps its the feeling of “love” that parents feel towards their babies and children, the feeling of “hope” that gives a suffering patient strength to live on, the feeling of “kindness” one feels when a stranger suddenly helps us solve a problem, or the “compassion” one feels for those less fortunate. Perhaps it’s the tenderness that lovers feel towards one another.

It’s these unquantifiable things in life that really matter in the end. Without them, no matter how many material and “countable” things you have, life can be miserable. Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold hearted miser of Charles Dickens, met the Ghost of Christmas yet to come and realized that he had to change if he was to be die happily.

Money for all its virtue, isn’t the magic bullet.

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