As some of our loyal readership are no doubt aware, I have a nephew who is the sum of all things precocious and adorable. On occasion, when people fawn over his impish grin and dazzling deep blue eyes, they suggest that he takes after his uncle, which is how I discovered what being flattered feels like, that sense of being praised or honored beyond one's merit. That's rare for me, because no one thinks higher of me than I do.
Flattery feels great, by the way, like being surprised by awesomeness you didn't know you had. It's intoxicating to watch the little bundle of delight charm entire rooms with his winsome ease, and then think that I might have in some way contributed to that. Having met both of his remarkable parents, though, I think it's both more likely and more fortunate that he is the harmonious blend of their distinct brilliance. Without feeling the need to claim responsibility, there is a particular trait that my nephew and I share which I would like to discuss today.
We are both obsessed with counting things.
I don't think we're alone in that regard. As a culture, we seem to have become enraptured with the quantification of quality.
Thoughts on culture, community, and development.