There are some things we try to remember and there are others that we remember to try.
“I want you to try this” said my pre-algebra teacher, who, by “try” really meant “reframe” as he did, without violating logic. Instantaneously, he drew two vertical lines through two adjacent minus signs. Voilà. He had “changed” the subtraction of a negative number into addition without changing the answer, the outcome. He had “changed” something that appeared to be negative into something positive without changing the result. While the technique in and of itself represents simplicity, this same simplicity invites the opportunity to reframe situations such that we can be positive without compromising objectivity.
1. Changing Your Perspective
Yes, it is sometimes, though not always, the case that the emotional profile of optimism may distort or suspend our judgement. Often, it is the case. However, in upholding the rationale intrinsic to sound judgement, this does not have to be, nor should be the case. We can’t change what has happened, but we can change the way we think and feel about what has happened in seeing what
2. Life Forces Us To Reframe Who We Are And That’s Good
Consider the example in which a student’s exam grade does not aligned with his or her preconceived goals or examples. She or see can see the exam as an opportunity to better prepare for the next exam and to better target certain concepts before taking another exam for that class. Additionally, the student can see where and more importantly, why points were missed. Imagine a different situation, one in which the removal of something from life-a person, a career, an item-invites us to reframe the view. While the “loss” of something may initially present itself as paralyzing or stress-inducing, it also represents a “gain”.
3. How Math “Equates” A Loss To A Gain
Removing something negative is positive, which mathematics confirms by equating the subtraction of a negative number to the addition of a number of equal magnitude (i.e. subtracting negative 3 is the same as adding positive 3).
Specifically, the loss of a relationship may correspond to the gain of independence, reflection and evaluation in personal values. The loss of an item through theft may produce a gain in awareness of surroundings or the gain of an improved model of the item. The loss of patience may signal, eventually, a gain in discipline. The loss of weight may correlate to a gain in time added to an individual lifetime.
4. How The Universe Speaks To Us And Offers Hope
If we resort to thermodynamics, we are told that matter (the tangible that composes this universe) and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Rather, they are only transferred between systems. If we treat each of our own worlds as systems in the grand surroundings, the universe, we too can see that what appears to be a loss from one perspective is a gain from another. That is, nothing is lost since everything can take a different form.
5. The Universality Of Logic Is Beautiful For Our Lives
I realize that while every situation is completely unique, as is each agent. However, the universal and unbiased truths present a beauty intrinsic to objectivity that we so often forget to celebrate. Perhaps in trying the aforementioned approaches, we can better remember the universality of logic that drives so much of the world.