Numbers and life

This piece was originally written in Portuguese and published in the February 2013 Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German editions of The Herald of Christian Science.

Some years ago, there was a show on Brazilian TV in which a comedian mimicked a minister from the government who would often say, “What matters is numbers.” The comedian’s playfulness is a sign that humanity today seems to be worried about and bound to “numbers.” Numbers are often used to record past events and to make forecasts for the future. Impacts of natural disasters are estimated or measured in terms of financial loss or the number of lives lost. The global economy is based on numbers. 

We’re all used to dealing with numbers related to daily life, with regard to matters such as health, financial situations, family expenses, and life expectancy. The science of mathematics, for which numbers are indispensable, helps maintain our lives in order. In this line of reasoning, numbers are necessary to our lives. However, they can become a limiting factor for an individual. Why? Because we may see numbers as limiting, especially when we think of them to measure material possessions and supply.

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