There seems to be a modern obsession with numbers.
Numbers are often utilized as the currency by which one’s “worth” is determined. The number on a scale, the percentage received on a test, the number of AP classes one signs up for, an SAT/ACT score, the number of calories consumed in a day, clothing size, yearly income, the number of social media followers, the number of likes on a photo, and college acceptance rates are but a few examples of how numbers are used to establish esteemed social standing and acceptance.
The problem is that, in total alignment with the laws of mathematics, numbers constantly fluctuate. This phenomenon is absolutely guaranteed. If numbers are our only source of self and social acceptance, we are destined to be disappointed due to the natural lack of continuity. This involves depending solely on external forces over which we have no control.
It is quite evident that such a way of living is a recipe for disaster. We cannot control the ever-fluctuating world of numbers, but we can control our inner feelings–our inner sense of worth. This can remain constant. Rather than searching for love through numbers and social acceptance, it is more rational (and fulfilling) to begin searching within oneself. As cliché as this may sound, I have found that all of the qualms of life are far more easier to deal with when one possesses a strong and loving personal foundation. I definitely have lacked such a foundation, but reason has been a life saver in that it has aided me in realizing the destructive nature of some of my personal habits. Rather than finding gratification in external sources (grades, weight, calories, size), one must turn to internal sources.
Please think about your character traits, your interests, your positive habits, your beautiful talents, your curiosity or passion for learning. Recognize the beauty in simply being alive. Your body allows you to move, feel, taste, and love. Your brain is capable of storing memories–both happy and sad–while also allowing you to learn in a world of infinite learning opportunities. Think of how complex your endocrine system is, or how your muscular-skeletal system collaborates to gift you with a dynamic life. Please don’t forget how miraculous you are. Your complexity is truly astounding, but your unique personality and character are far more flabbergasting (in the best way possible of course).
Things such as the above should be our primary source of self-worth. When we pause to really consider the miracle that is human life, we can realize that the numbers everyone cares so much about are actually rather trivial. While numbers themselves are truly beautiful (being the nerd that I am, I LOVE math), they are NOT beautiful when used to develop inconsistent and irrational factors for determining a human’s intrinsic value.
Recognize the beauty in simply being YOU. That is a far more accurate indicator of value–true, meaningful value–than any number society has arbitrarily deemed as “ideal”.