Friday, August 11, 2017

Not a Riddle

Last evening, my brother called me. "What does your Thursday 13 mean?" he wanted to know.

For me, it was a very odd Thursday 13. Just words, really.

"I don't know what it means," I told him.

"I have spent an hour trying to figure out what you did!" he exclaimed. "I was sure you had some hidden message in there."

There was a hidden message, I suppose, but not one that anyone picked up on. The message would have been, "I have a bad headache and a lot going on, I have not missed a Thursday 13 in 511 weeks, and I need to stick something up on my blog."

So I put up the first words that came to mind, taking maybe all of a single minute to drop a few lines. I did put a disclaimer at the bottom that said I didn't know what any of it meant. I'm pretty sure that in the 9.8 years I have been doing Thursday 13, yesterday's entry was the worst one I've ever done.

I went for quantity, not quality, and it showed.

Quality always wins over quantity. If you are a rich man but your money came to you in ways that were not quality, then your money ultimately turns you into boorish brazen-faced baggage, and (generally speaking) not a person of quality. A person of quality is of course not quantifiable, since "quality" in and of itself is subjective, but I think there are enough examples of spoiled rich brats roaming around to make the point. They didn't earn it. They are not nice people. They have the quantity, but not the quality.

Monies earned through work, whether that's sweat under the armpits or sweat of the brow from thinking too much, become quality funds. When I was in college, many of my professors enjoyed teaching older students such as myself because we weren't there on somebody else's dime - we were paying for our education. We knew the quality of the education and the value it would bring to our lives.

On Game of Thrones the other week, Greyworm, an eunuch, took off his clothes and made love with the person he called "his weakness," Missandei. Lots of talk on Facebook pooh-poohed that scene, saying an eunuch could not make love. They seemed to think there were no pleasure to be found in touches of another kind. Quality, not quantity, mattered in that particular TV scene, and it showed quality. Love is not quantifiable. Love is about quality.

Facebook pursues quantity over quality. Among the younger generation, especially, the more "friends" you have, the more "likes" your post receives, the better it is. But friendship is not a number and quantity has nothing to do with it. You can know 1,000 people but if none will come to your aid when you need them, you really have nothing. If one person comes to sit with you when you are sick, or bring you chicken soup, then you have quality. You have a friend who matters.

Quantity is absolute. It's math, empirical, and undebatable.

Twelve apples rest on the table. That's quantity.

Ten apples have worms in them. That's quality. Which ones do you want to eat?

I always hated assignments that were word-number oriented. "Write 1,000 word essay on The Grapes of Wrath" ultimately means a teacher ends up with a lot of looping logic or indigestible sentences that say next to nothing. I'd rather read a 300-word quality essay on the book than 1,000-word essay that says nothing. But quality is not quantifiable, and if a grade is the ultimate goal, then you ask for 1,000 words.

As a writer and blogger, I try to offer up posts of quality. Sometimes those posts are simply interesting photos. Occasionally they are posts that maybe shouldn't have been posted - too personal, perhaps - but my writing, in general, is good, readable, occasionally funny, and almost always thoughtful. Hopefully, it has relevance to the human experience. Sometimes, I hope, it makes people think.

Yesterday, I failed in the quality area. For that I am sorry, and I apologize to you, my readers. I know better and generally do better.

I especially apologize to my brother, because I think I let him down the most.


  1. You did not let me down my Darling Sister. It's actually pretty funny in my book!! I'm just used to you NEVER writing below your self made standards. I just KNEW there was something hidden in there for me to find. But alas, you had just had a bad day. I do know I brightened it when we both laughed hard at my antics about spending an hour looking for something that did not exist!!! Lol!!!

  2. I agree QUALITY ALWAYS WINS OVER QUANITY especially in friendships and matters of the heart. I also searched for a connection but figured there would be a reveal on the next blog and since I'm practicing learning patience these days I thought I would wait and see what I missed. Sorry your day was bad but glad I'm not stupid for not figuring it out! :-)


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