As a teacher, it is rewarding to know that I can make a difference in the lives of my students. However, it’s more amazing to know that they actually come with more from your class than simply the content material. I know that when my students leave my class, it won’t be the quadratic equations, or that special problem involving a Pythagorean identity that they remember, but something that was said to change their life. The times when they got that pat on the shoulder, that kind hello.
Knowing this, I also know that math can be seen in life, if looked upon carefully. I began a series of tweets (@MrSawyerMath) entitled #MathandLifeLessons. I hope that these short phrases can help the reader to refresh their skills mathematically, and also help to make life’s transitions a little smoother.
#MathAndLifeLesson Number 5: Simplify whenever possible.
Often mathematics are considered difficult or confusing because of all the symbols, numbers, postulates, axioms, theorems, laws, theories,
constants and variables that cause problems to be more difficult than they are. We must understand that most of the rules and procedures given for simplifying an expression are done so in order to make the problem reduce to it’s basic form.
Life also has a way of appearing complicated. Jobs, families, career aspirations, illnesses, grief, stress, joys, pains, desires, beliefs and doubts can easily frustrate ones mind. However, if possible, we must simplify whenever possible. I found this true in my own life. The funny thing is that life is often complicated due to a lack of focus. We are not able to set a clear focus on our true goals, and instead get caught up with the distractions of life.
We must scale back, and refocus on our goals. We can find this focus in Matthew 6:33. Jesus tells us to seek the kingdom of God first, and all other things we need will be provided. By simplifying our focus and moving towards the things of the kingdom, we find our life situations easier to handle. By handling God’s work, we can trust him to take care of our issues. Simple enough?