Correct or right:

Different does not mean deficient.

Kymone Hinds | 5/13/2016, 11:56 a.m.
Different does not mean deficient.
Kymone Hinds

Take a look at the math riddle with this column. Spend a little time trying to figure it out. (Spoiler alert: if you do not want an answer given, then don’t read further until you are done.)

I love working on riddles, especially ones with numbers. So when this showed up on my Facebook timeline I jumped at it. It did not take me very long to find the answer.

My next step was to share it. What good is a riddle if you don’t share it? So I sent it to my kids and then to a group text with my family members. What happened next taught me some important lessons about life that I want to share with you.

My son and daughter responded almost at the same time with two different answers. My daughter said 40 while my son said 96. Well my son’s answer was the same as mine so I gave him the thumbs up. Then I asked my daughter for her logic. I discovered that her logic was just as sound as our logic.

Soon after, answers began to come in from my family members. My sisters in law and my mother all said 40. My brothers said 96. I communicated with a few other friends. The men said 96; the women said 40.

Here was their reasoning.

For those who said 96:

The way the formula works is A+ (AxB) = the answer.

Try it. It works for each of the 3 answers given.

For those who said 40:

The way the formula works is to add the answer from the previous formula to the numbers in the formula to get the answer.

Try it. It works for each of the answers given.

The problem is it does not yield the same answer for the last question. But it did reveal some things.

Different does not mean deficient

When I first got my answer and heard my daughter’s answer, my initial reaction was to tell her how wrong she was. The natural response is, “How did they get that?” There is something in us that causes us to look with weird glances internally at those who come to different conclusions from us while looking at the same data.

But as you can hopefully see from this simple example, even having different answers to the same problem can come about from reasoned logic. Both ways of doing things have a credible reason for looking at it that way.

If there is anything I have seen in life from my experiences and from counseling individuals and couples is that we tend to think that when someone sees something differently from us that their way of looking at it may be defective. Books have been telling us that about men and women for years. “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus” is a popular one.

And even among brothers, sisters, children and parents, we are different. Our different views should not cause us to look down on each other. Different ways of looking at things may be just as valuable as our way of looking at it.