Math

Geometric Self-improvement

In mathematics, any point in space can be represented by what's called a "linear combination" of basis vectors. The point (2,5), for example, can be represented as 2 * (1,0) + 5 * (0,1), where (1,0) and (0,1) are basis vectors. Any point in two dimensions can be represented as a multiple and then sum of those variables.

Likewise, virtue can be represented as a linear combination of basis vectors. The Josephson Institute developed the Six Pillars of Character, which could represent the axes of a six-dimensional space: Trust, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Community. Any interpersonal conflict can be represented as a linear combination of those pillars. For example, if a good friend talks behind your back, the act has a helping of mistrust (a * Trust) combined with an element of disrespect (b * Respect). Or if your teammate at work ignores your emails and brings your project down, the act has a sense of recklessness (c * Responsibility) combined with dispassion (e * Caring). There isn't a wrong or slight that isn't some combination of those pillars. The benefit of this model is that if you can master those six axes, you can master whatever it means to have good character.