AND Counting Tells a Different Story

July 26th, 2015

Each week, I wait for something to strike me so I can write this blog. Sometimes, several themes knock on the door at once, and I write multiple entries. Other times, I am at the deadline, thinking I will write about one thing, and fascinated that when I turn on the computer, that is not at all what I write.

What strikes me as I write today is the entry number. Although the number is not posted, I keep track of entries by entry number. Only by looking at the number do I have any idea how long I have been writing this blog. That number, of course, has no meaning and tells no story unless I or you create one about the amount of time I have been writing or you reading.

It has been six years! Counting forces my mind to pay attention to more than the moment. It draws me to a historical perspective. It creates a sense of elapsed time rather than present time.

We count a lot of things today. Most of them don’t mean much until we assign all sorts of meaning and logic and use them to argue for what we want. I suppose the big data focus is a natural outgrowth of collecting all this stuff and trying to justify why it is important, wondering what it can tell us.

We write the story. We use numbers to tell a particular story. And as long as we aware that we are making it all up, we may continue to distinguish what is important in our lives from counting on what we think numbers might tell us. What are you counting these days that affect the stories you tell yourself?

I have been writing this blog for six years AND I would argue that the only value in knowing that is to continue to ask myself whether I want to write another entry. Anything more than that is just about me counting and using the numbers to tell a different story.

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