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Hopeful Math


There are lots of things in life that don’t make any mathematical sense.


Chicago once sang “25 or 6 to 4”(1). The song was filled with lots of math problems. Other than its title, it was written for a 12-string guitar that only had 10 strings. While the math made little sense, the music really rocked.


Math problems also follow me around. When we went to a Farmer’s Market the other day, I followed my pattern and immediately bought something to drink. My pattern and plan is to carry it around as we walk through the different stalls. Stopping in the first booth that sold coffee, I bought 3 coffees and some grounds to share with our family and friends.


While the local coffee shop accepted credit and debit cards, I paid cash. I love to pay cash to local small business people, so they don’t have to pay the transaction fees. While the owner’s son, working behind the counter, correctly added up the total, we then ran into a math problem. Here’s the math, see if you can find any math opportunities.



There are different ways to react. How would you?


  • Take their newfound money and just quietly walk away.

  • Criticize teachers and the school systems for failing to teach basic math skills.

  • Thank God for dropping this gift from heaven.

  • Other???


As I looked at the change in my hand, I must have had a strange look on my face. When he asked if anything was wrong, I showed him the change and together we went over the math. From the money he gave me, I returned the $20 bill and a single, he then gave me 2 more $5’s. All was now right with the world of math and we went on our way.


Hope does not rejoice with the wrong but celebrates with the right and the truth.


Look at life from a Hopeful Math perspective. You may think that it’s a loss now, but hope pays BIG dividends later on.


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Fourth in a series:


Hope: From Head to Heart

Practical steps for living with hope in a hope deprived world


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