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What is the true measure of man?

There is a proverb that says that the best way to judge a man is not by the way he treats his equals, but by the way he treats his inferiors. If you treat your servants or employees badly, it is a poor reflection on you; that the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

Indeed we cannot truly assess the size and measure of man, until we are faced by the yawning hole in society which he leaves when he departs. Our purpose on earth is generally measured by the significance of what we inspire in others; events that shape and form part of our natural existence. Many of the sages and men of genius before us have sought to define our true purpose, and like all things intellectualised, there is almost never a convergence of minds. The existence of man was not intended for him to be the pillager of natural resources; the polluter of environment; nor the architect of atrocious wars that cause greatest devastation and rob millions of their lives; nor the purveyor of everything else that is worst and harmful to ourselves but rather that man who’s existence, however fleeting, is of vital significance to others and everything else around him.

It is not often that man, until the harsh realities of life dawn on him, begins to critically question his existence and purpose; whether what he has been was what in the beginning was intended to be; or whether it is what he had intended it to be. In the midst of all glory and success; we continue ahead choosing not to look besides us and behind, afraid of interrogating those things whose answers are hard to digest; afraid that what we may see could set us off our course. The neverending quest for dissolute pleasures and materialism, determined and indifferent to any moral restraints, almost now defines the core being and values of man; our relations and perceptions of each other as well as everything else around us, which motivates us. Very sad indeed.

In the movie The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman makes a very interesting statement: “It’s difficult to understand the sum of a person’s life, some people would tell you it’s measured by the ones left behind, some believe it can be measured in faith, some say by love, other folks say life has no meaning at all……Me, I believe you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.”


  • Sentletse Diakanyo

    Sentletse Diakanyo's blogs may contain views on any subject which may upset sensitive readers. Parental guidance is strongly advised.