Being bigger doesn’t mean being more valuable. For example, the largest number with a name is the Googolplexian, a “1” followed by so many zeros that Carl Sagan said it would be physically impossible to write them all down because there simply isn’t enough room in the universe. Moreover, it’s said that if you filled the universe with dust particles, the number of different combinations in which you could arrange and number these particles would be far less than a googolplexian. (Why you want to do that is a completely different question.)
It makes one’s brain hurt just thinking about it.
On a more human scale of “bigness,” I recently visited the Spruce Goose, technically the “H-4 Hercules Flying Boat,” constructed by Howard Hughes after World War II. Among other facts, I learned that this ginormous plane (which only flew once) is made of Birch, not Spruce; has piles of beach balls in its wings and belly to keep it afloat should it spring a leak; and that although it was constructed over 60 years ago, no modern plane has a larger wingspan. (There are a few that are slightly longer.)
As a sullen teen, hardly inspired by anything, I visited the Grand Canyon. Yet, even in my perennial “no big deal” mood, the grandeur of this world wonder broke through, partially due to its vastness. Large structures like the Hoover Dam or Golden Gate Bridge still take away my breath.
”Big” is impressive; there’s no way around it. Maybe it puts us in perspective; I don’t know. Nonetheless, we are drawn to it.
However, it’s essential to understand the difference between size and value.
Many are impressed with vast riches, mistakenly equating our upper socioeconomic class to be the “better class.” I have nothing against the wealthy; who wouldn’t want to live a comfortable lifestyle, never concerned about the cost of taking a family member to the doctor; or being able to up and get out of town on a whim, without concern for costs? Yet, collecting money simply for money’s sake? At some point, you’ve got all you need. The number of dollars has no intrinsic value. It’s what we do with it that number that matters.
So why are people of size oft times tarred with the stigma that they deserve scorn simply because of the number of pounds they carry?
Not only is it unfair, but also it’s hypocritical. We each have habits of which we’re not proud; it’s part of the human condition. The singular difference is those who heft a larger mass have theirs on full display, unable to hide it behind closed doors. Should I cheat on my spouse, or mismanage my finances, no sign pointing out my shortcoming is affixed to my belly when I go about my daily business. Hence, I can choose to be anonymously lost in a crowd, no one being the wiser. However, should my weakness be food and a sedentary lifestyle, everyone is informed. If we each had to don a placard publicizing what we don’t like about ourselves, no one would give a second glance at the person who eats too much chocolate; they would be more concerned with erasing his or her own badge.
One’s value as has no correlation with one’s weight.
Yes, it’s probably true we’re healthier at our correct weight, but we are most certainly not “better.” We’re entitled to happiness, no matter the number that flashes on the scale. Like most, those numerals carry only the value we choose to assign to them.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website to support folks frustrated with making promises and ready to make a change in a supportive environment. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. Contact him for coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking at (707) 442-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His first six years of these columns are now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/StrivingBooks.