It’s about time that I return all the things given to me over the years that I have no use for. Like the sweater your grandmother gave you for Christmas. You know the one I’m talking about, thick, wool, v-neck. Some sort of animal printed or woven on it like a deer or ducks or something. The kind of sweater they always have in stock over at J.C. Penny.

Like the gifts we open on holidays, our overeagerness to expose what is beneath the wrapping is sometimes dispelled by the reality of whats inside the box. According to the suburban time line I should be to the point of establishment. Where I come from kids my age are all well and done with their university education and on to good positions at great companies. They leave their tidy apartments and get into their new cars and head to work, but not before stopping to get their Venti Caramel Macchiatos. (the preferred drink of young professionals who know nothing about proper espresso) They put in 40 to 50 hours and come Friday at 5p.m. they are off to they hot new restaurants and sleek new clubs. Adorned in their best designer jeans, Aldo shoes, clunky watch, and aviators they will continue this ritual through Saturday, until Sunday when its time for football and sweatpants. And Monday its back to work.

Now where I come from this is known as a quantifiable results. A term that I am all to sick of. The mentality of the communities around me is to wager these results against those of your neighbors in an utterly shambolic attempt to meet some standard. A standard that I know all to well, one that I have grown quite sick of. the idea of a quantifiable results is rather dehumanizing when I stop to think about it. As a society we lend more importance to status, money, image, and material. When the landmarks that are important like kindness, well being, and quality of life all go by the way side. We pass up such things and discard them as immaterial and non-quantifiable. Kindness is weakness, compassion a sign of frailty, and quality of life can only be measured by the name tag sewn into your suit.

I have grown quite tired of these apparitions surrounding me, floating about, whispering in my ear. Their evidence is everywhere The clothes that I wear, the places I eat, the way in which I treat people. I hate it. And I try so hard to not allow them into my soul. But even the farthest rock from the shore gets wet once in a while. I fear that if I don’t get off this island soon my soul will wither from the exposure and if a rescuer were to arrive there would be little more left to me than rags and bones.

But why wait for salvation. My own endeavor might solve this yet. The one thing about Grandma was that she always taped the receipt to the inside of the box. She knew I was my own man. Its the thought that counts really. Those who give always do it with the best intentions, but Grandma was wise enough to understand that what we want to share with others does not always work. And so I am glad she always saved the receipt and let me decide.

—Adios Quantifiable results

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