Today is not Opposite Day. January 25th is Opposite Day. We are supposed to celebrate Opposite Day on Opposite Day. I decided to celebrate Opposite Day by not celebrating Opposite Day on Opposite Day. Today is the random day I selected on Opposite Day to celebrate Opposite Day. Is that clear?
The official Opposite Day occurs in wintertime. I am celebrating Opposite Day in summertime. Opposite Day has been called a children’s holiday. I’m a adult man–is that the opposite of being a child? Some people think Opposite Day is simple mindless play. Opposite Day is actually complicated and requires a great deal of mindfulness in order to successfully make it work.
We are accustomed to dichotomy in our attempts to make sense of the Universe. Dark is the absence of light. Lies are the absence of truth. Evil is the absence of goodness. A lot of misunderstanding happens because of our tendency to categorize in black versus white. Real life is more like artist Marc Chagall once said, “All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.”
There is the interesting basic fact about electromagnetism that notes: “like” polarities repel and “opposite” polarities attract. When was the last time you played with simple magnets to enjoy this phenomenon? When magnetic polarities are harnessed by rotation, the same principal can generate electricity or it can use electricity. These seemingly opposite uses of the same mechanical phenomenon are worth pondering.
In human behavioral terms, the jury is still out about whether opposite personalities attract and similar personalities repel. The mental machinations of dichotomy fall apart regarding our love lives. This is why our love lives can seem so controversial. Our love lives are more like Marc Chagal’s description of colors. Yet many folks are uncomfortable about androgyny. Androgyny is not the opposing relationship of gender but the flowing, universality of just being human. Human behavior does not conform to electromagnetic theory.
It’s also interesting to think about vanity versus humility. An overly prideful person jeopardizes his spiritual health. An overly humble person jeopardizes his ability to live a satisfying, practical life. Pride and humility in moderation not opposition, enable a happier, harmonious life of integrity. Much of what makes life challenging is dealing with opposites as we try to find the elusive “happy medium”. In the meantime we learn to accept the fact that we are imperfect beings who sometimes place perfection on a pedestal.
One of today’s major artificial social controversies is the supposed clash between vision and science. When honestly observed, vision and science are not at odds or in opposition. Science is simply an organized method of harnessing vision. Whether or not we name the process as vision or science, the same process of trial and error has created our civilization. In a backhanded way, we are all life scientists.
On Opposite Day, we might discover that we’re human. Being human means we all have flaws. Part of growing and healing is the recognition that we are filled to the brim with opposites. Opposite Day is about letting go of the conflict between our opposites and accepting the challenge of integrating our opposites. Today we can celebrate the mature acceptance of opposites in childlike ways.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes writer Hermann Hesse. “Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.”