We often start to pay attention
to a thing when it becomes more or less than it was in a previous state.

Such an attention conceals a
deeper problem. Namely, for our common experience, it is a great challenge to
accept that a thing can be in two different states, even if they belong to successive
periods of time. Because we primarily learn, for instance, about „a dog”, not
about a dog growing old or decaying.

Thus, any increase or decrease of
the same thing is a challenge to our mind. But any thought about a thing makes
us alien to it, since we have to interrupt the direct contact with it.
Moreover, when it is involved a person, such a distance for thinking of her presents
moral problems.

In order to solve such
difficulties, we appeal to the mathematical thinking. The increase or decrease
of a thing is reckoned using the abstract numerical notions. Concerning people,
we use the system of numbering their years of life. Since the habit of
numbering is largely adopted, the numbers came to seem harmless for our
relations with the numbered things.

Besides, the numerical
abstractions leave us the impression that we had a thoughtful approach of all
the changes. In fact, though rational, the mathematical explanation is just an
expedient for the harder duty of thinking what does mean a thing which is „more
than” or „less than”.

We feel such a harder duty whenever
we refrain from mathematical explanations and simply wonder before things and
persons which become bigger and smaller than they were before.