A Confusion of Values

The word “value” has at least three distinct meanings depending on context.

Value = worth
A man’s value is often regarded in terms of his worth to his community. Ex: John is considered a more valuable person than Jim because John is a doctor and Jim is an unemployed laborer.

Value = quantity
A man’s height is measured in units that are regardless of his worth. Ex: John is five foot ten inches tall.

Value = principles
One’s judgment of what is of importance in life. This is the essence of the word, valuable. Ex: John values honesty and integrity.

When I mix my values – as I often do in judgments – I may experience confusion!

“I value the value of that value.” – which is one way of saying, “I assign importance – benefit – to the worthwhile – quality of nature [in this context] of that – quantity.”

A few days ago I laughed when I heard this little tidbit of mind-bending self-talk knocking around in my brain:
“I value more the [score] value on Jane’s test, which makes her of more value than John, who failed the test.” This includes each type of value: usefulness, quality and quantity – in a single mash-up judgment that also crosses logic levels. Egad! Imagine my confusion!

Where did I get so many conflicting and confusing values? Is it any wonder I feel inclined to question them?

Consider the confusion I generate in communicating something I value with someone I value… 😉

If you’ve not had enough yet, you may get even more value from:

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