Former British Prime Minister Willian Gladstone hated math. He hated math so much that when he was in university he wrote a letter to his father asking to be transferred to a University that did not offer any classes in math. As a member of Parliament Gladstone’s father could have easily arranged for a transfer to a “no math” university for his son, but instead he replied “You say that you dislike math, but there is a supreme pleasure to be found in putting all your efforts into a subject that you dislike. You may be faced with a time in your future when you must overcome your weakness. This will be great practise for such a time when you will overcome even greater obstacles.”
It’s funny how the advice given to us by our parents often turn out to be valuable. When reflecting on his distinguished political career where he served as Prime Minister of Great Britian on four separate occasions between 1868 to 1894, he said that ” if I had not received my father’s advice during my university days , I would not have become the person that I am today.”
For all of you students who hate math just like William Gladstone did, remember that he benefited from not giving up on studying math.
“A mans greatest strength develops at the point where he overcomes his greatest weakness” – Elmer G. Letterman, Insurance Sales man (1897-1982)