Monday, March 30, 2009

The Power of Zero

A great blog post from my friend Rusty Goodwin:

The Power of Zero

So, I’m sitting at home the other day watching a program about the origins of mathematics. I know you are thinking to yourself “How boring is this guy’s life that he watches a show like that?” but hang in there with me. It was quite interesting.

I learned that the numbers we use today originated in India. This culture was the first to invent an individual symbol to represent each of the numbers 1-9. This made commerce, measuring, counting, agriculture, everything much easier to manage. Yet while they had symbols that represented 1-9 no culture had yet invented the concept of 0 (zero).

Eventually, after time, the Indian people came to realize the power of zero, the concept of nothing. They came up with the symbol for it that we still use today, 0. Immediately, their whole mathematical system changed. It became infinitely more powerful and efficient. Other cultures and nations caught on to the concept of zero and it dramatically changed all aspects of culture at that time. Imagine the power of nothing. I’ll bet they had no idea how the concept of nothing would change the world.

Imagine math equations with no zero. Just think, there would be no binary system without zero and thus, no computers. Imagine trying to understand the number 1 million without zero. How long do you think your accountant would stay in business without zero? Impossible.

Okay, so here’s the application. Many times each of us feels like we are not significant. On any given day there are people in our organizations that feel like nothing. Just remember the power of nothing. The number 1 is great but look at it now. 1,000,000,000,000. Put twelve nothings after it and it is much greater. Take away one of those nothings and you have exponentially decreased the value of that number. So, if you are a nothing, don’t underestimate your value, be encouraged. You matter. We all do.

If you are a number 1 or 2, just remember, you are worth more if you have a bunch of us nothings on your side. You can make a much bigger impact with all of us nothings behind you; An exponential difference.

Maybe this is what Paul meant when he encouraged the body of Christ to actually act as if there were one body. Every part has a function and every part matters.

Maybe that is why when Christ came to this earth he chose to make himself of “no reputation”. Maybe he understood that adding value was better than being valued. After all, he did come so we could not only have life but have it more abundantly.

Maybe this is what Christ meant when he told his disciples that in order to be the greatest, they had to be the least. Last time I checked zero was the least.

Go Zero!

1 comments:

Gina said...

That was great! Thanks for sharing!! :)