As a child, I was fascinated by math: my parents and teachers used simple methods with fruit, Popsicle sticks and toothpicks -- teaching to add and subtract by moving objects into or out of a circle and then counting the results. Multiplication and division came later requiring visualization, memorization, and repetition. Remember flash cards and "Times Tables" (multiplication tables)?!
All of this came to mind recently when our travel agent made changes to a future trip: adding benefits; increasing the overall costs; dividing by the number of days on the trip to determine worth. To make a decision we needed to compare differences from the original plans and proposed changes.
|How quickly do you spot differences in others?|
~ ~ Click on image to enlarge ~ ~
(Photo credit: Spot the Difference, Josh Jagran)
I began to reflect on how often I unconsciously look for differences without thinking:
- She is taller than me.
- He is driving a newer car.
- They have different beliefs, belong to another religion, have a darker skin color, or take a unique political position.
I wonder how often we use mental-subtraction to remove what we don't like or understand?
|Do you tend to remove options?|
(Photo credit: All about Addition and Subtraction,
DREME FamilyMath, Stanford University)
What caught my childhood attention wasn't the ability to remove objects from a circle: after all, eventually you have nothing (until we were introduced to Algebra, that is)! Rather, I gravitated towards how many objects could be added until the circle was full! And then, when the circle itself was full, I began stacking the objects to see how many more could fit into the circle.
|How often do you include others?|
(Photo credit: What is Addition?, SplashLearn)
When I entered the work force, I came against budgets, pie charts, and realizing that some resources are limited. I can accept that. But I also want to believe that the human spirit can do so much more. In fact, many of the world religions have stories of multiplication -- sometimes miraculous! -- of people's generosity and kindness. Sacred lesson: we can do so much more when we work together and share our limited resources.
May we be blessed this week with opportunities and possibilities to add and multiply our generosity and kindness towards others!
(click on link for website)