For future reference in this work, when I say Human, I mean the most complicated, significant, powerful, autonomous dynamic force in the universe. The financial economy offers two different perspectives on the subjective evaluation of value: the scarcity model and the utility model. In the scarcity model, a thing is valuable by how rare it is. In the utility model, a thing is valuable based upon how useful it is. The juxtaposition of the two models is illustrated in the old adage about one eyed rulers in the land of the blind. In the context of these two distinct foundations for Value, how does the human experience rate, in the eternal inertial chaos of existence?
Our societal relationship with the concept of change is multifaceted, as any interaction between a human and a concept must be, complicated beasts that we are, human and concept alike. Change, alone, is not what we want to consider, but rather progress, which is always change, while the inverse is not quite as reliable. In fact, the distinction between progress and change might lie at the center of the conversation, as people by nature are always changing, even as are families (Hawthorn, 1950), and nations (Gibbon, 2003), while not progressing. In light of this inevitable change, how do we cultivate neutrality on a moving train, as it were?
Intentionality in the facilitation of change is a defining characteristic of the human species (Ringdahl, 2013), whether in regards to ourselves, our families, others - in, say a coaching or counseling relationship - or the very fabric of our societies themselves. At any level, seeing comes before wanting, and man is the only animal that blushes (Twain, 2009). That is to say, man is the only animal who demonstrates a desire for having taken an alternative course, as the natural extension of man being the only animal that can see alternate courses. The ability then to cast our course construction before us, and pick out paths as yet untrod, our intentionality, lends us unparalleled potency in this universe, but does come at the cost of a certain kind of stability, as the reasonable man shapes himself to fit the world around him, while the unreasonable man demands that the universe conform to him (Shaw, 2008). In such a way has progress ever and only been the domain of the intentional, unreasonable human.
The challenge, then, for an individual, family, or a society, becomes how to harness our unreasonability to maximize the creative and autonomous force waiting latent in our humanity. If the line between insanity and genius is only success (Feirstien, 1997), then it is only fitting to look for inspiration to one who saddled the line with rare aplomb and self-awareness. Much like riding a bike, the key is to keep experientially moving forward (Einstein, as cited in Isaacson, 2007), an internalization of gnostic forward leaning, while stabilizing ourselves with our emotional relationships for times of turbulence.
In light of our solitary position as agents of intentional change, consider again the two models of economic valuation mentioned above. Gold is valuable because here on this planet there is a finite amount of it, and it is moderately useful. A similar amount of plutonium would be more expensive, by virtue of greater scarcity and utility. When we open our scope up to the parts of the universe we have managed to search, so far, we see a lot more gold and plutonium. We haven't found any other autonomous agents of change, much less beings of experiential complexity even remotely close to the most austere human condition. There are only seven billion of us, anywhere, and we are more useful than anything else because we can change the universe. By both models of valuation, the human being is the most valuable thing in the known universe.
The fact of my humanity, in that specific regard, is the most precious pillar of my personal and emotional paradigm, and when I extend that designation to another, which if you are reading this, than I-the-person, mean you-the-person, recognizing your place at the top of any experiential hierarchy, I am asking you to let me love you, as I love myself. I think you are a magnificent complication of actuality and potentiality, unique in ways that defy comprehension in a very literal sense. The singular perspective that you represent is precious, and I love every part of yourself that you have shared with me, in any fashion, not only for the rarity and value of that particular expression of humanity, but for teaching me more of what I can be. Selfish creature that I am, I love how I can be more of myself because you are in my life. The objection has been raised that the weight of expectation produced by this inclusive expression of affection can appear to minimize differences. For that I will apologize, but I can no more stop loving you for being human than you can stop being human. One of the goals of this work is to try to find space for these kinds of subjective bidirectional interactions, in part by a recognition and validation of all of the different ways we can be different.