Friday, March 27, 2009

Are You Pure Gold

Have you ever thought about 99.9% pure Gold? How did we come to the conclusion that this was pure? Why not 99.8%? When you refine something, you are putting it through a test of fire. You expose it to high heat that breaks apart the most rigid of bonds and allows for separation. Great care and patience is necessary to get out every impurity.

Those of you familiar with the atomic chart or the table of elements, remember that each element is unique and has curtain properties that distinguish it from the others. Each atom has its own weight and size. Some parlor tricks can be played with neutrons and electrons but the protons determine the identity of the element in question.

Each element has a boiling point and a melting point that can be used to both identify it and separate it from those around it. Refining uses the melting point to locate and separate that which you seek from all others. You start by bringing the mixture up to the point just below the melting point of your target. If we use gold as are target then we would bring the temperature up to 1945 degrees F. At this temperature most of the lower melting point atoms will separate and pour off the remaining solids. You would then bring the temperature up slowly approaching the melting point of gold (1947.56) but not touching it attempting to get every impurity that can be removed. Once you are satisfied that nothing else will melt away, you then attempt to melt off the gold and separate it from the higher melting point solids left behind. These steps are often processed many times and the refiners fire purifies and separates until purity is reached. There may still be a stray atom or two in the mix but it is now 99.9% pure.

For something to be truly pure, it would have to be 100%. The smallest drop or, in the case of gold, the smallest atom could lead to impurity. True purity leads to the ultimate value no matter what the substance.

The human experience is much like the refining process. The challanges of your life removed impurities and establish character. The human purities are honesty, loyalty, honor, love and forgiveness. From childhood to adulthood each of these are refined and purified. Each relationship we enter is valued on these things. We choose who to spend time with and who to do business with based on these things.

When we enter a relationship with someone, purity is assumed from the beginning with hesitation. We are all skeptics so we ask for confirmation right away. We will ask for referals or testimonials to attempt to establish and verify the level of purity in charactor of each person. We rate these on a purity scale based on how well we know them. If a close friend who has been tried and refined through years of friendship gives someone high praise, their purity is rated far higher. When someone you don't know lends praise the margin of purity moves very little.

For each of us the question of purity is tested everyday with every interaction.
Are we Honest?
Are we Loyal?
Are we Honorable?
Is our Love unfailing?
Do we Forgive and forget small transgressions of our human frailness?

Due to our vast ability to reason and remember, our purity can be lost with a failing in any of these areas. The greater the failing the lessor the purity. Once purity has broken down the relationship has lost value. One fleeting moment, can take years to repair or refine back to purity. Some acts can never be restored. There will always be that small reminder in the background.

The Titanic sank because the steel wasn't properly refined. The impurities made it brittle, even though the ship was a marvel to behold in every way. When it bumped the iceburg, the steel cracked and shattered taking the ship to the bottom of the Atlantic. Its impurities cost many a life for those who trusted her.

How will you come through your refining? What level of purity would be given you in your many relationships? Family, Friends, Work, Customers, are all relying on your purity and weighing your value.

Are you 99.9% fine?

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Anonymous JMB said...

I enjoyed this post, damn it. lol

12:38 PM, April 01, 2009  

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