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  • Steven Delpome

The things that are most real are not quantifiable

Imagine for a moment you were single, out on a date with a person you loved. It’s been somewhere near a year you’ve been dating and you ask:

“How much do you love me?”

“About 85%. Once I’m above 90% I intend to ask you to marry me.”

Maybe you’re out with some friends celebrating the new home you just moved into. Thomas asks you:

“Hey why didn’t you call me? I would’ve helped you move in!”

“Well, in the past you tend to drop things like 2 out of every 12 times we’ve hung out. We needed trust nearer to 100% to be sure.”

Love, trust, friendship: The most real things we experience are not quantifiable.

Photo via Brian Huskie, @OutlawAcademy on Twitter

“Jamal kissed held my hand on our first date. Kissed me on the third. Sent me flowers unannounced after the fifth. I met his mother after two months. At this rate of progression, we should be married within the year.” (Yeah, there are people who do this. How do their relationships usually turn out?)


Most of the time learning hits us like a right cross, amazing us when we see it in ourselves or others. Your child takes their first steps or you suddenly realize you feel really competent at your job, those are surprises. Great ones! They catch you out of nowhere. Like love. You didn’t quantify either with a series of standards showing advancement

“Sally should be walking within a week because she’s stood up on her own 15 times in the last three days.”

Like love. Like trust. Learning is among the most real things we experience. We know we’ve learned something because we just know it. Yet we keep convincing ourselves we can measure it.

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