When I was younger, it was natural for me to lean toward people who expressed a level of disdain for “generically” traditional ways of life and living. For example, I grew up in a house that did not have a dinner table. Our family rarely ate dinner together. If we did sit down to eat together, we did not kneel in prayer for the meal; we knelt to sit on the floor to eat off the coffee table. Another memory/example is that our family did not go to church except at Easter. The real reason that we went at Easter was not to celebrate some traditional practice, but it gave my mother a good excuse to buy new Go-Go boots and a mini-skirt. My mother was opposed to anything that was traditional or systematic in terms of human interaction, which was odd because she held a job that relied upon a daily use of mathematics. Math is consistent. Math is reliable. Math is stable. Math has an expected outcome. Math cannot be glossed over. Math has a voice and it is heard whether you are listening to it or not. It’s hard to argue with math.
As I get older, I find myself moving away from people who are always challenging stability and consistency. I go out of my way to avoid people who live under a cloud of continuous, churning turmoil. The negativity that stems from constantly seeing everything as a target gets old. I certainly understand that mentality, for I grew up with it. I have worked for years to overcome the deep crevasses that it sliced into my soul. I find peace in stability. I find peace in an expected outcome. I crave a stable way of dealing with life. When there is unpredictability in life (Isn’t that what life is?), I deal with that unpredictable curve-ball in the most stable way that I can muster ( I’m not saying it’s perfect). I do my best to deal with problems like I am working a math problem. So, guess what teacher! I use math every day.