By Adriana Adarve – Owner of Adarve Translations
There is a mathematical concept that says that division by zero has no meaning, or is an undefined expression, because it is impossible to have a real number that could be multiplied by zero in order to obtain another number different from zero.
While this mathematical concept has been held as true for centuries, when it comes to the human level the present situation in global societies has, for a very long time, been contradicting it. It is true that we don’t all live in a mathematical world or with mathematical concepts in our heads all the time. However, we cannot deny that societies around the globe are trying to disprove this simple mathematical concept: that division by zero is an impossible equation to solve.
Yes! We are all being divided by zero tolerance, zero acceptance, zero love, zero compassion, zero willingness to learn more about the other and to find intelligent and fulfilling ways to adapt to new ideas, concepts, ways of doing things, people and cultures. We are allowing these ‘zero denominators’ to run our equations, our lives, our souls.
Each and every single day we get more divided and distanced from other people who are different from us. We let misinformation and biased concepts divide us, and we buy into these aberrant concepts in such a way, that we get swept into this division by zero without checking our consciences first.
I believe, however, that if we change the zeros in any of the “divisions by zero” that are running our lives, we will actually be able to solve the non-mathematical concept of this equation: the human concept.
I believe deep down that we all have a heart, a conscience, a brain to think with, and, above all, an immense desire to learn and evolve. And thanks to all these positive things that we do have within, I also believe that we can use them to learn how to solve our “division by zero” mathematical impossibility at the human level. I am convinced that the key is open communication and an open heart. Nothing more, nothing less.
Are we scared of, or do we feel baffled by the way another person from another culture or country looks in comparison to us? Are we bothered by how people from other cultures dress, eat, talk, walk, worship, think, etc.? Is this fear or bafflement so big that we much rather reject people and all the richness they bring within?
How about if instead of rejecting or retreating from that person—division of our humanity by zero tolerance or zero acceptance—we decided to give them and us a chance?
How about changing that zero tolerance into zero intolerance? Why not dare ask questions about the other person’s culture and way of life? Let us have the courage to let our guard down for a moment and open up enough for this person to ask us questions about our culture and way of life. How about if we learned to accept that while a person from another culture is living and breathing in our own culture, it is totally impossible for him/her to completely abandon his/her cultural values in order to become what we want her to become?
Let’s be totally honest with ourselves at least: Would any of us really renounce who we are and where we come from just to become what somebody else asks us to become?
If we are not willing to lose our identity, why should we ask somebody else to lose theirs?
I believe with all my heart that if we practiced positive feelings—zero intolerance, zero non-acceptance, zero indifference, zero cruelty—every day, the premise that states that division by zero is impossible would continue being true, not only in mathematics, but also at the human level. We would not be divided anymore; we would simply be building a better world for all of us.
Hoping to have touched your soul in a meaningful way,
Adriana Adarve, Asheville, NC
About the Author: Adriana Adarve is the owner of Adarve Translations and is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish & French), as well as pluri-cultural, multi-cultural, plurilingual and multilingual.