Friday, December 23, 2005

Social: Evaluating the Value of Something

Evaluating the Value of Something

Value of something can be generally defined as its worth. In our daily lives value is one of the recurring phenomenons. Everything, be it tangible or intangible, has a value. Value itself can be monetary or in kind, explicit or implicit, quantitative or qualitative. Value can be constant throughout time or be changing even at one point in time. Value is more than often subjective than objective, hence value may not always be precise or concise or consistent. Instead it can wrong yet appear correct. It can also be correct yet appear wrong. Many a times, especially in terms of monetary value, many things have a value. Even then we evaluate and put our value to it.

We indeed live our lives by putting a value to everything. What we feel to be of high value, we pursue it. Conversely what we feel to be low value, we do not seek it or we avoid it. Unfortunately the outcome of everything that we pursue, not pursue or even avoid depends not on the value we attach to it. We may place a high value on something and pursue it, but not reap any good out of it. We may place a low value on something and avoid it, but reap much good out of it. Indeed the outcome of anything is independent of the value that we place upon it, but instead is contingent upon the actual value of that thing. When the real value of something is positive, the outcome/s for us will only be positive if we pursue it. Otherwise the outcome/s will be nil or negative if we don’t pursue it. Likewise when the real value of something is negative, the outcome/s for us will only be negative if we pursue it. Otherwise the outcome/s will be nil or positive if we don’t pursue it.

Indeed we all try to estimate the real value of everything and not the nominal value. We use our intellectual ability through our mind and emotions through our heart to evaluate the value of something. In turn, our mind and heart employ the abilities of our five senses – sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste. Unfortunately our five senses can easily be deceived. What we see, smell, touch, hear or taste may not exactly be able to pick out the full information about that thing. Our eyes for instance can take notice of a beautifully designed shirt but fail to detect that the quality is low. Our nose for instance can pick up a nice smelling perfume but will not be able to detect the presence of chemicals in the perfume, should they exist, that can cause allergic skin reactions or the fact that the sweet smell itself can only sustain for a very short time. Hence with incomplete information, our faculties of mind and heart, will be unable to gauge the correct value of anything.

Therefore in our daily lives more than often we are either overestimating or underestimating the value of things. This in turn makes us pursue things at the speed faster or slower than we optimally should. Environmental damage is something our eyes are unable to fully see. Hence our mind is unable to fully comprehend it and puts a nominal value that is lower than the real value. Hereby we are not triggered to act with restraints towards environment. Instead we continue to exploit the environment. This dilemma is faced by us in every other aspects of our lives.

We can call this a form of asymmetric information i.e. the information that we get about the value of something which makes us put that value on it is different from its actual/real value. How then do we rectify this problem? We definitely need to be in a constant state of awareness for us to receive full information using and beyond our five senses. This state of awareness indeed is only partly achieved through the utilization of the five senses, mind and heart. Instead it can be fully achieved when a person employs the ability of his/her soul together with his five senses, mind and heart. In fact the soul plays a greater part than the latter. Unfortunately in today’s world when the common man, especially when he lives in a fast paced cosmopolitan urbanized city, is oblivious to the fact he has a soul. Even if he is not oblivious to it, he hardly makes an attempt to promote the development of the soul through spiritual development. Naturally when he hits the rock bottom of life, he goes on a soul searching mission. Sadly the natural environment he lives has every form of influence through mass media, corporate power, politicians etc that makes the soul distant from mind, heart and five senses. In fact the growth of the strength of the above three forces is dependent upon the growth of distance of the soul from the heart, mind and five senses. The three forces also do their best to replace the natural heart with a mechanized one where instead of the natural emotions, the individual’s heart is only capable of romanticized/impulsive emotions. The three forces may be acting conscientiously or their actions may be contributing to the above phenomenon. Nevertheless the ability to evaluate the value of something by each person is impaired. This is increasing true for the modern, urbanized man than for the rural, traditional one. However in this globalized world, the difference in the dilemmas of both is not significant. That is why we see media, corporations and politicians grow in strength whereas families, marriages, societies, communities, environment etc crumble and even disintegrate. This situation can only be reversed when we revive our soul, protect our hearts and re-attain our state of consciousness. Then only can we be able to put the appropriate value to everything and see the outcomes that we wish to see. Till then we can with our cynicism, make as much futile attempts as possible to rectify the situation using all other remedies that we can naively praise and hail.


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