Standards. Why do we have them in the first place? How much exactly is one inch? How about one cup? We know the answers because we’ve used instruments of measurement before. Perhaps it was a tape measure or a little plastic cup with markings and numbers on it. In one aspect, a world without standards would be chaotic. Human thinking varies on a lengthy range of scale. If not for clearly defined standards everything would be completely custom made and ridiculously expensive.
In the scientific world, units of measure allow calculations to be made. For the person cooking, it allows the specific amount of ingredients to get the right taste. For the home builder, the use measuring devices allows them to build precisely to a blueprint. Clearly defined standards allow all who use them to achieve consistent results because it removes much of the guesswork for how anything is made. Things made that did not previously exist in nature can be replicated by using such standards. Even if parts were made from scratch without any thought, proper measurements could be taken to recreate a duplicate.
Some time ago, various groups of people agreed upon each unit of measure. Without this agreement, it would seem that nothing would work in our lives. Like in the nature, life needs structure and order. Following standards allows us to build that structure. A significant reason to follow them is for our health and safety. If standards were not followed, disasters would be everywhere. Cars would wreck. Bridges would collapse. Houses would catch on fire. Buildings would fall apart. Basically, there would be trouble on every side. There is such a broad range of examples that could be given to demonstrate the importance of following standards.
If standards are so important then in regard to the physical world around us, wouldn’t they also be of importance to other areas of our lives? In a way, they are. In the U.S., there is a standard which is set, offering free public schooling to students in grades one through twelve. This grants them an opportunity to learn about a variety of topics and builds a foundation upon which they can build their lives. Whether they realize it or not, they are also being taught how to think and how to solve problems.
For many people, having emotional standards is important also. Men are well known for not wanting to cry publicly, if at all. Many women handle themselves in such a manner as to exhibit class and elegance. Typically, ugly emotions aren’t acceptable when demonstrated publicly. When we see someone throwing a temper tantrum, we generally excuse them if they are three years old. But, if they are forty-seven years old, they will definitely get a raised eyebrow from bystanders.
Even the social world has standards, although they change regularly. The styles of clothing may be acceptable in one period of time, but years later no longer be acceptable. Hairstyles have also changed over the years. But there are more important things to be considered, such as beliefs around social classes and ethnicities of people. Society, as a whole, needs to be cautious when a group of people start believing they are superior to any another. In the U.S. there are strong standards in place to protect people. Based on the dark side of our country’s history, its clear we’ve missed the mark in many regards. However, we are definitely headed in the right direction.
Who enforces these standards? There are lots of committees coming up with the standards but who makes sure they are followed. Typically, government agencies are the ones who uphold many of these standards. But like any laws created, people try to find loopholes around them. They start proclaiming the standard wasn’t meant for them to follow and they start doing their own thing. If everyone else had the same idea and proceeded as such, the world would dissolve into chaos once more.
Most often, we cannot control these other kinds of standards that others set for themselves. Not as much can be done to change this. Racism, for example, cannot be eliminated by merely desiring for it to be gone. Some people may always choose to hate. Just don’t become a person who hates because you were unfairly hated. Set a standard for yourself that you alone control. Eliminate racism from at least one heart on this planet, your own. Who knows, others may follow your example!
For those who have leadership and influence, it would be wise for them to uphold lofty standards. However, people will inevitably be tempted to avoid things that they feel oppose their viewpoints. Nevertheless, there is one aspect we can all control. We can set standards for ourselves. Parents can teach their children how to have and follow them. By doing this, we become the standard modeled before their eyes. We become an instrument to which they can measure themselves with; something to which they can live up to. The real question is, what standard are you setting for others to follow?
Categories: Love Self