Friday, December 3, 2010

vice versa

One man's weak tea is another man's ambrosia...and vice versa.

One man's meat is another man's poison...and vice versa.

One man's junk is another man's treasure...and vice versa.
One man's heaven is another man's hell...and vice versa.

It doesn't take a genius to notice such observations in action. It's just walking-around chump change in our lives, I think. Sally loves Hummel figurines and Peter thinks they're unbearably kitsch. Teenagers love video games that adults find time-wasters. Ballet dancers pour heart and soul into practice where others may wonder when they will evolve into human beings. Those who think national security is imperative may see peace advocates as idiots or traitors. And we don't even have to get into the barbed wire edges around much-loved religions.

Vice versa.

It is intellectually easy to write off differences and disparities with broad-minded simplicities like "variety is the spice of life" or "chacun à son goût" or "taste is taste." But I think there is a usefulness in such differences that goes beyond an easy and lauded tolerance ... or a slipshod relativism.

Actualizing a recognition that any starting point can bring someone home and that that home contains no debate or vice versa is more than just spiritual smarm. It doesn't imply that everyone has to love Hummel figurines or disdain peaceniks. It just means an acknowledgement and understanding that separations, while convenient, are not honestly true. Yes, blue sky is blue and grey skies are grey, but finding an actual-factual line between them is impossible just as it is impossible to find the actual-factual demarcation between night and day or love and anger.

It's just something to think about, I guess.

If there is no line, why do I keep drawing lines?

Probably because I think it will make my life happier or more interesting or correct or something. It doesn't seem to work, but the willingness to see that it doesn't work takes some doing.

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