Some math of life | Tolman’s Tales

I have never been good at math. My two C’s in college were in math classes. As I get older, though, I see some math consistencies in life. Like these 10.

1+1=3. This is called synergy. Two things, when combined, are greater than they are individually. This is what we look for in a relationship. Together as a couple we are better, happier than we are apart. And, of course, when that happens 1+1 often soon becomes 3 literally.

2>124. My two-year-old grandson Zachary reminded me of this formula recently. His “Amma” and I (combined age 124) sat with him for a while. With two of us watching one of him, with our great advantage in life experience and perspective, his energy and activity level wore us out. We went to sleep quickly that evening. With broad smiles.

3% x 47 = $$$$$. If you put 3 percent of your earnings into an investment or savings from your 18th birthday until you reached Medicare age (47 years), you would have a very comfortable financial life. Take that advice to the bank.

1+2= 🙂 If one child followed the advice of his or her two parents, the youngster would have a happier life, unblemished by many avoidable problems.

Net <2,000 = skinny, net >2,000 = not. A long time ago, my doctor gave me the very simple math of weight. Consume and not work off (net) over 2,000 calories a day, you gain weight. Don’t consume or work off (net) calories less than 2,000 a day, you lose weight or stay stable. It sounds straight-forward. Easier said than done. Please pass the doughnuts.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 = a better decision. Many times, had I taken a minute and counted to 10 before I said something or did something, I would have made a wiser choice. Spontaneous words or action can, in the end, be less perfect than a more thoughtful, deliberate approach.

1=1. Each of us is one-of-a-kind, unique, sui generis, an uncopied bundle of life input and experiences. Each of us brings an unmatched ingredient to the lives of those we meet and touch. Never forget that, and the innate value of your input and perspective.

64<17. At 64, I love the perspective age brings to life. I would not want to be 17 again with the drama that comes with youth, peer pressure and social media. Life at 64 is less dynamic and dramatic than at 17. And I’ll take that.

5>1+1+1+1+1+1. Together, people can accomplish more than the same number of individuals acting alone. That’s why service clubs, churches and volunteer organizations do so much good. More than if the same members acted alone.

Finally, 3=30. When I am in my judge’s robe, I see defendants who just don’t get the message. My cheerleading and inspirational speeches fall on deaf ears, kind and gentle sentences haven’t changed the errant behavior. Three times appearing before me for the same criminal activity often demands a time out for reflection. Like 30 days in jail.

Life is an art more than a science, I concede. There are, though, some formulas that have passed the test of time.

— Jeff Tolman is a lawyer, municipal court judge and periodic columnist for Kitsap News Group.

Copyright Jeff Tolman 2017. All rights reserved.

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