Tuesday, September 06, 2022

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success? On one hand, we grew a small plot of popcorn for the first time which yielded 12 pounds of kernels to pop. Success by any measure - we will be hard pressed to eat that much popcorn in a year.

On the other hand, I planted many cantaloupe seeds in the garden. One seed germinated; one fruit grew on the one plant. Carefully watered and cultivated, it was harvested and tasted; we feasted on the most flavorful cantaloupe imaginable. One cantaloupe from all that effort would not seem a success - but the seeds it came from go back 3 generations from a state almost 2000 miles away. Saving the seeds from this one fruit for the coming years guarantees the variety will survive - success. (I have referenced these seeds before: Bethune Catholic: cantaloupes and cats - long story, but the ones I had this year were about all I had left after a few dismal summer garden years due to lack of rain.)

Measuring the success of students however is much more difficult. If they succeed in my Astronomy or Physics course would be one measure, but ultimately it is whether they succeed in life. My contribution is extremely small in that endeavor. AND in most cases I never know.

On the homestead we can measure success every time we light a fire in the wood stove or open the pantry or chest freezer. As an adjunct, it is not so easy.

Of course the ultimate success is not on the homestead or on the ball field, but in every endeavor which brings us closer to salvation.

Oremus pro invicem!