life is not a mathematics problem

treacherous thing

 

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“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

 

———–

John Green

 

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“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal.

 When you’re good, bad things can still happen.

 

And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.”

 

—————–

Barbara Kingsolver

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10 score math lifeWhew.

 

 

We score everything.

 

People.

 

Games.

 

Performance.

 

Life.

 

 

We almost treat Life as a balance sheet.

 

Heck.

 

We almost treat people as a balance sheet.

 

We most certainly attempt to make life, a specific event or time, a mathematical problem. And we then proceed to analyze that Life or event or time with some unequivocal mathematical solution in mind with the intent to measure it.  As well all know … we do this particularly when we want to discuss “improving”, i..e, wanting a person to be more than a person.

 

That said.

 

Ponder this Life math conundrum.

 

  • Balance sheets are assessed by zeroing it out. Pluses equal minuses.

 

  • Scoring usually goes 1 to 10. 10 being the best.

 

 

Uhm.

 

If the best people are the ones who balance out <they would then be a zero … oops … or are they then a 10?>, then wouldn’t they … uh oh … they don’t even show up as being worthwhile on the 1 to 10 scale.

 

Or how about this <if you want to ignore the balance sheet idea>.

 

What happens if someone’s 10 version is an 8?

 

What a treacherous thing to demand a 10 on an 8 score … when they are truly a 10 as is.

 

What a treacherous thing to demand that a person be more than the person they are.

 

Society almost seems to encourage us to not only make Life mathematical but to judge mathematically.

 

And, to be clear, the whole positive and encouragement and “think good things” industry certainly ain’t helping us in accepting a person as … well … a person.

the fuck question fucking stupid

Yeah.

The whole “Secret” & positive thing can far too quickly translate into some wacky life mathematical problem people can solve in making a ‘better Life.’

 

 

You can do better!

 

If you are at 7 you should always be striving for 8!

 

 

Personally I believe we have bastardized real encouragement in combination with ‘numberizing’ people <a bad combination>.

 

People are not numbers, nor should they be assessed as numbers and, surely, they cannot simplistically be represented as something as simple as a number.

 

And what makes this even more treacherous?

 

There is rarely such a thing as a good or bad person in isolation.

 

What I mean by that is what may be good at one moment is bad at another.

 

And what that means is … well … a number can trap someone in the past or being measured for but a moment.

 

Therefore, not only does it become treacherous to believe a person is more than a person … but treacherous to believe a person is less than a person.

 

And, yeah, I know about 360degree reviews and measuring shit by tracking over time but inevitably the math works out one of two ways:

 

 

  • An average of highs and lows <which diminishes true learning on how high is up and how low is low>

 

  • A snapshot in time <in which the person gets screwed if they are having a bad time and benefit if it is their one truly good time>

 

 

When I took a moment and really thought about this I kind of thought this was related to the whole ‘perfect person and imperfections’ thing.

 

We have a nasty habit of looking at the people who we dislike and immediately assess, judge what could & should be improved, and think “they could be a 10 if only …”

 

We have an even nastier habit of looking at the people we like, yes … actually like, judge how close they are to a ‘perfect person’ and think “gosh, they would be absolutely perfect <a 10> if only …”

 

 

That’s silly.

 

calculate how fucking stupid math judgeNo.

 

It’s just fucking stupid.

 

People are people.

 

On their best day and at their best they are … well … their best. And judging someone as if they can be, and should be, their best … a “10” … every day is just fucking stupid.

 

A person is no more than a person.

 

And no matter how much we want to make a person a number and make Life a mathematical formula or equation we cannot.

 

And because we cannot we actually should not.

 

Yeah.

 

It is a treacherous thing to believe a person is more than a person.person expect treacherous paper towns

 

Just as it is treacherous thing to believe a person is less than a person.

 

Don’t try and make life, or a person, a mathematical equation.

 

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“We should always bear in mind that numbers represent a simplification of reality.”

——–

Kenneth E. Boulding

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Written by Bruce