Dear Readers,

“Did you check the Google Analytics report? How many clicks did the article get?”

“Let’s evaluate his record and crunch the numbers to see how valuable he is for our organization.”

“Is she an ‘influencer’? How many followers does she have on social media? How many likes does she average?”

“What is his net worth?”

So often in life, we are evaluated by numbers. At our work place, our value is often crunched down to raw numbers. Likewise, our social status often depends on them.

Soon enough, we may even start believing that our worth as a human being depends on the digits in our bank account, our scores on tests or how many followers we have on Instagram.

But here’s a different perspective on those numbers.

I recently met someone who told me that she was so touched by a book she read that it dramatically changed her life. Yet in the marketing report, these weighty ramifications would never be noted; she was merely one consumer who spent $19.99 on her purchase.

Another individual told me she printed out a parenting article, which she hung on her fridge. She said it helped her become a better parent to her four children. It touched her so much, that now, 10 years later, it was still hanging on her fridge! Once again, in some analytic report, she would only add up to one click on some server.

I heard of a sensitive child whose kind teacher rehabilitated his life. The teacher’s salary certainly didn’t reflect his day-in and day-out constant endeavors, care and support.

A hug. A gesture. A pat on the shoulder. A word of praise. These may only be one act, and they may register as very little on an employer’s evaluation form or in your bank account, but such things can literally save a life.

In the very beginning of creation, Adam was created as one single human being to impress upon us the dignity and mastery of every human being, so that if someone helps one individual, they have saved an entire world. Conversely, if someone destroys one individual, they have destroyed an entire world.

While numeric evaluations can be important, isn’t it time that as a society we realize it’s not about crunching data, it’s about touching fellow humans? It’s not grandiose numbers, but simple, day-to-day acts of kindness and inspiration that have such a far-reaching impact.

We are approaching the month of Elul, which is an opportune time for introspection. It’s a time to think about the year that passed and our goals for the coming year. Introspection means looking inner—looking at ourselves, and our potential.

Elul is our chance to more deeply examine our lives—not through the lens of how our numbers compare to the person next door, but by considering this instead: What one small act can I focus on to make another individual’s life a little bit better?

Editor, TJW