My end-of-semester essay prompt read: How has studying math enabled you to consider choices and consequences more fully this semester?
And I was like:
Whaaaaattt? How on earth is math supposed to teach you about anything other than graphs, geometry, algebra, etc? Since when do life lessons fall under math lessons? Math isn’t a favorite subject of mine. Being homeschooled, I have to try and figure out the lesson by reading it instead of working it out in class first, and I’m a kinesthetic learner. I do well in math, but’s it’s frustrating. Yet surprisingly, I found that math had taught me a valuable life lesson:
The most costly mistakes are those you cannot see.
In math, if I’m working out a problem with multiple, complicated steps, I’ll often get something wrong. If I can look back and realize my mistake, no matter how big or small, it makes for an easy fix. However, sometimes I’m unable to see the mistake I made. I can’t pinpoint what went wrong. I repeat the problem over and over, committing the same mistake, and ending with the same incorrect result. Oftentimes, it takes a new set of eyes to figure out the problem. I need someone else’s help to realize where I went wrong.
In life, the deadliest mistakes are those we don’t realize we’re making. Sometimes, we’ll try something that ends up being an enormous failure, but we know where we went wrong, and we learn from it. Other times, we end up with the same bad result, and no matter how many times we try, we can’t find a solution. We are blind to our own faults.
I’ve heard someone say that the person inside the bottle can’t read the label on the outside. We’re inside the bottle, trapped by our own faults and failures. Only someone on the outside of the bottle can read our labels, seeing our faults and failures where we can not.
This is why for constant improvement and growth, we need other people surrounding us who are willing to read our labels and expose our faults. Because the first step to solving a problem is realizing it exists in the first place.
What have you valuable lessons have you learned from your school subjects this semester? If something doesn’t come at first–or you have a similar expression to that statue above–then just wait and think about it.