The person you can thank for this column

Someone asked me if I had ever thanked any of the people who told me that I would one day thank them. That would be my mother, and I don’t think I ever did. Oh, I thanked her for a lot of things. I’m just not sure if I thanked her for the things that she said I “would someday thank her for.” 

Like the time she wouldn’t let me buy my friend’s used Vespa scooter. I’m pretty sure I didn’t thank her for that. When I asked her if I could buy it, she said, “Sure, but how are you going to pay for it?” I told her I would use the money in my savings account and she said, “No, you can’t use that money.” Good grief, what did she think I was saving it for, college or something?

The John Templeton Foundation did a survey back in 2013 to determine what Americans were grateful for and how grateful we were. One of the conclusions they reached was that Americans think their gratitude is adequate, but everyone else’s gratitude is lacking. I agree with that. And that was before the election of 2016. 

They gave a list of categories to people and asked them to rank the items as to what they were most grateful for. I found it interesting that, on the list, the lowest-ranked category overall was “your current job.” Now that has not been my experience. When Laurena Davis, the editor for such things at the time, hired me to do this column, she said that I might NOT thank her in the end. So, let me take a moment right now to thank Laurena and Mike for allowing me to write this column. 

Another thing I know I have not been adequately grateful for is math. They told me I would thank them for making me take it someday. When I was younger, I thought love was “the answer” to everything, and that is probably why I had so much trouble with math. 

I’m especially grateful for the number one. Did you know that if you multiply 111111111 (that’s nine ones) by 111111111 (another nine ones) you get the number 12345678987654321, which is all the numbers between one and nine both forward and backward? That’s just crazy! You can’t make this stuff up. 

The number one originally stood for unity, or wholeness, and was represented as an O. Later we started using 0 as a placeholder, and the idea of one as “unity” declined slightly. In fact, some maintain that you can’t speak of one because that makes it a thing which is separate and so cannot be united. That is a mysterious conundrum and reminds me that love really is the answer. 

Then there’s the Fibonacci number series 1,1,2,3,5,8, etc. If you add the last number in the series to the previous number in the series, you get the next number of the series. It’s found all over the universe in various ways. But did you know that the only calendar date that represents a Fibonacci series each year is the day before Thanksgiving? The date 11-23 is always the day before Thanksgiving. Coincidence? I think not. 

When I was in my junior year of high school, I had a pretty, young woman who was my counselor. As I recall, Miss Smith made me quite self-conscious. I didn’t want to take the ACT because I didn’t think I was going to college, and I would have to take a Saturday off work to take the test. She positively badgered me into taking it. She said I would thank her one day. 

Well, because I took the test, I eventually was admitted to college. Because I went to college, I became a scientist. Because I became a scientist, I can now write this column. Don’t blame her; she meant well. But now, thank you, Miss Smith!

Gary McCallister, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), is a professor emeritus of biological sciences at Colorado Mesa University.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy