Of Value And Values

A mango ready to eat, withers ‘n’ rots.

It cost 100 bucks – so that’s a waste of a 100 bucks.

That was the last mango of the season: so that’s now a colossal waste since it’s a year to the next mango.

For a poor human being who hasn’t eaten in 5 days: that mango was nourishment and the difference between life and death.

It’s only when I put myself in the shoes of others can I understand different perspectives of value and maybe come to decide the true meaning of value based on my values in life.

Wastage of food- in any proportion – cannot be equated to money. It has to be viewed in terms of life and death.

So the value of an object or enterprise or commodity is not absolute but relative.

A field of crops ready to harvest:

Represents a year’s hard work for the farming families involved in nurturing the crop.

Worth hundreds of thousands of bucks of revenue to traders.

The difference between life, quality of life, and death for people in different socio-economic strata of society.

Is burned by a retreating army so that the advancing enemy has no ready food supply: is reduced to a strategy element in a war.

Value then is not just relative, it is also relative in layers of context.

To preserve and nurture life is a social value as in the “Values of a society”.

To preserve and nurture life of those that are part of our society is the unsaid discriminatory context.

To oppose others who are not a part of our society or who do not adhere to our values, is an opposing value aimed at preserving the values of one’s own society.

Values then are also contextual and relative, and always at loggerheads with the contextual values of some or the other society.

And then we wonder why others do not understand our moral stands, our justice, our right to administer the law…


Graphic Art-On-AcrylicOnCanvas by Rahul Joshi

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