Happy Same Day

Today the calendar reads 09/09 so the month and day have the same number. This is true for both the numerical calendar configured in the American or the European style. So I’ll dub today “Same Day”.

No, I actually won’t, because today is actually “Opposite Day”. I just couldn’t help but notice that the calendar is pulling a fast one on the concept of “Opposite Day”.

I don’t normally have a dichotomous way of seeing situations. That is, various shades of color or grey stand out more than black versus white. Some things that appear good to many people might not be so good for other people. There are also a lot of things that seem bad but might also be good in certain ways.

“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.”–Hermann Hesse

Relativity seems more apparent to me than polar opposites such as short and tall. I am slightly taller than my neighbor Austin but I am a little shorter than my friend Jonathan. Everything seems to be on a sliding scale. A millimeter is shorter than a meter which is shorter than a kilometer. Jupiter is larger than the Earth and smaller than the Sun. It’s all about nuances to me. However, today is the day to focus on opposites, not nuances.

“Belief systems thrive in circumstances of collision. They are energized by their opposites.”–professor of religious studies, James P. Carse

We are indoctrinated early about good versus evil by our parents and other overseers. Much of what we’re taught are prohibitions. We hear: “Stop that!”, “Don’t do that!”, “No!” The fortunate kids also hear words of affirmation such as: “Good girl (boy).”, “I like that.”, “Yes.” In an ideal world, we would hear more affirmations than prohibitions. Is more the opposite of less?

Are western belief systems with their teachings about good versus evil the opposite of eastern belief systems that encourage their students to understand nuance? In other words are contrasting colors the opposite of the spectrum of the colors of the rainbow? Can we experience complete dark and complete light? Or are our experiences various shades between dark and light? Can something or someone be completely good and something or someone else be completely evil? Such concepts seem to be less a matter of experience and more a matter of doctrine? Does the act of comparison make us feel comfortable or uncomfortable?

Asking ourselves profound, interesting questions are ways that observing “Opposite Day” can move beyond being a children’s holiday to one that can stimulate adult thought. We go beyond “this and that” to a more androgynous way of thinking. Meantime, today is also a day to indulge the inner child and play with the concept of opposites. We can enjoy both the profound and the superficial.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Italian architect, Renzo Piano. “I think people should try to teach young children that these qualities–stubbornness and a capacity to listen–might look like they are opposites, but they are not.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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