“Mathematics and the 10 Paramis”
I realize that the skills required in doing mathematics can be transferred to real-life. In mathematics, what is required is essentially to simplify all problems. Similarly, if one can see beyond the numbers and procedures involved, then one sees the intrinsic value of learning mathematics. Through mathematics, we can also impart and teach the kids values in life – as in the 10 Perfections (Paramis). How to do it?
1) Generosity (Dana) – Teach a friend, share what you know.
2) Morality (Sila) – One can never cheat his or her way in mathematics, all working must be shown.
3) Renunciation (Nekkhamma) – Mathematics is all about simplifying problems and expressions.
4) Wisdom (Panna) – One needs to “see things as they really are” before a mathematical problem can be correctly solved.
5) Energy (Viriya) – Mathematics definitely requires mental energy.
6) Patience (Khanti) – Work at it, don’t give up!
7) Truthfulness (Sacca) – Total honesty in doing mathematics.
8) Determination (Adhitthana) – If at first you do not succeed, try and try again.
9) Loving-Kindness (Metta) – Please be kind to your teacher, do your homework.
10) Equanimity (Upekkha) – Sometimes mathematics is easy, sometimes it is difficult. But hey, that’s life, isn’t it?
Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel chains, attributes his phenomenal success to his mathematics lessons in school:
I am not out to convince anyone that calculus, or even algebra or geometry, are necessities in the hotel business. But I will argue long and loud that they are not useless ornaments pinned onto an average man’s education. For me, at any rate, the ability to formulate quickly, to resolve any problem into its simplest, clearest form has been exceedingly useful. It is true that you don’t use algebra formulae but….I found higher mathematics the best possible exercise for developing the mental muscles necessary to this process……(Conrad Hilton (1957), Be My Guest)
Mathematics is the training ground to cope with life. Remember what Conrad Hilton says……
This is Mathematics – Dhamma. Isn’t this wonderful?