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Feelin' Like Zero
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Photo: Shonato
Zero is an unusual number. By itself it is nothing. Zero. Naught. A record of emptiness. A place holder. Despite this, it has many functions. On one side of the decimal it can increase the value of whatever it is standing next to. A one (1), alone, is a single entity. Just one. When a zeros stands alongside the one, the value of both jumps to 10.

On the other side of the decimal zero has the opposite effect. Zero decreases the value of whatever it stands next to. Decimal 9 (.9), alone, is almost whole. When zero stands next to it, the nine loses a tremendous amount of value. What was once 90 cents (nearly a dollar) suddenly drops in value to a mere 9 cents! (.09) 

Feelings can also fluctuate in perceived value. I know this as a fact in my own life. Sometimes when life relentlessly presses in on me I end up feeling like a zero. A nothing. Naught. A place holder.

On Which Side Will I Stand?

Facing this realization, I have a decision to make. On which side of the decimal will I stand? Even though I feel like nothing, I, as a human being with a choice, can choose my position in relation to the “numbers” around me. I can choose on which side of the decimal I will stand. I can choose to put my zero next to a 1 and together make a 10 or I can choose to put my zero next to a .1 and decrease its value to a mere fraction of what it was. I can take .1  and bring it down to a single cent. (.1 to .01) or I can stand next to a lone penny and increase it to a 10.

Despite my feelings of worth, I can choose to do something positive. I can choose whether I will be a place holder, a “nothing” that adds value to the person I am near or whether I will be a place holder, a “nothing” that decreases the value of who I am near. That’s a lot of responsibility. 

I guess “zero” can be worth a lot in a marriage and in a family!

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By C. Rene Ammundsen. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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