Mary has a ribbon of length 3.66m. The length of her ribbon is 3 times as long as Sarah’s ribbon. How much longer is Mary’s ribbon than Sarah’s?
My ten year old answered; 3 times longer. His father concurred and said surely this was a trick question. They then spent the rest of the day watching TV and playing the Wii.
Until the mother came home. She ranted and raved…but that is not what this post is about.
Those of us with a slightly stronger need to pass maths test would have worked out that Mary’s ribbon is 2.44m longer than Sarah’s ribbon.
However, in a moment of pensive thinking, past the fretting and fuming, I realised they were not entirely wrong. Infact, those of us that see our glasses half full might even say they were right.
And if a precise science like mathematics can be wrong/right then what of the very un-precise human?
Can anyone or anything be entirely wrong or right? Have we considered the grey? The grey always slips through the cracks if we are not looking for it.
We have to depend on our inner moral compasses to point us in the right direction. But again, like all precision instruments, if it was not built right in the first place, regularly re-aligned and serviced for optimal output, it may veer us slightly off course.
There must be a reason why condemnation shares so many syllables with recommendation