Quality versus quantity

Quality over quantity has been something I learned from my earliest years. The question, which I always had in mind, was “when favouring quantity over quality and the other way around”?

As I child I was happy with quantity and I saw the difference between the two: Why only one flawless apple instead of more common apples?

Quantity also meant more time to play, but what about the play quality? I was happy enough to play even though I had clear moments when I got bored or I felt like wasting my time.

As a child I appreciated a bigger present instead of a smaller one, which could have had a higher value.

I was raised in a period of time when quantity mattered a lot. Everything was judged through numbers. How many? Are they enough? Did I get enough?

The same applied with the school marks. I was striving to get the highest marks, no mattered how much time I wasted memorising silly things I forgot some days after.

Later on I realised that it would have been worth understanding what I struggled to memorise no matter the mark I got. How to cope with the situation since everything was measured based on numbers? There was no time to value quality.

There were difficult times with some of my teachers who judged me on whether I reproduced or not a book or even their own course. There were moments when the personal judgements, ideas and any creative efforts were not appreciated.

On the contrary any such attempts were penalised. But I was happy, I must admit, with some of my teachers who did otherwise. They actually helped me feel I was on the right track to get ready for real life situations.

It is not the intention of this article to judge my teachers. I needed to say this because these aspects contributed to making me aware of a basic life principle: quality versus quantity.

Year by year I understood that whereas quantity is easy to measure, quality is hard to determine and is subjective.

Both quality and quantity are part of an inseparable work or project, so they make things progress.

Given up quality for quantity may happen during a project, depending on the intention of the people carrying out the work.

I got tired with quantity against quality probably because, with the age I became more selective. I am therefore a partisan of quality. I prefer to do less, but achieve quality. I noticed that in a nowadays world people do not have time or do not want to value quality over quantity. This may be a sign of poor work and superficiality.

Rushing to achieve quantity with the risk of damaging quality very often looks unprofessional. While doing any work we certainly need both quantity and quality, but striking a balance between the two is key.

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