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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Arithmetic Without The Reading & Writing

Add, subtract, multiply, divide. When did you last consider how those we routinely encounter frequently seem to be temperamentally aligned with one of these functions more than the others?

Who helps you add new music, experiences, foods, places, authors to your life? I gravitate to those who add to my life in these areas. And those people inclined to add new people to their lives inspire me to be more open to others. There is also something to be learned from those who judiciously subtract - shed possessions, downsize, eliminate negative people from their lives. But defaulting to subtraction via reflexively giving up things - "I can't anymore", etc. - can also limit those who spend time with people more inclined to subtract vs. add.

In my experience, the people most fiercely alive - and who clearly need to consider subtraction as an occasional ballast - are the multipliers. Hotter, faster, louder - in multiples. Still, I'll take that noisy intensity any time over those temperamentally inclined to divide. By definition, divide is the opposite of unite. Although multipliers can be exhausting, dividers find ways to separate people from each other. Some of my worst moments have been instances when I've been a divider and when I sense I'm with one, I give them wide berth.

How do you see yourself? What was the last instance where you added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided for yourself?  Did you take note of the effect it had on others?  

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