The concept of equal opposites has been around forever - Yin and Yang, Unity of Opposites, Newton’s Third Law - I mean, the first forces we learn are push and pull. But sometimes we lose our balance, and if you’re standing at the bottom of a hill, chances are you won’t see what’s on the other side. Even a compromise as steady as the way the moon and sun share the sky - falters at an eclipse, and if you’re never told to open your eyes, you could be forgiven for only seeing the world in darkness.
When you’re trying to improve the world you live in, it is really easy to only see the bad, because those are the bits you want to change. To be an activist you’ve got to seek out the injustice, and to be a visionary you have to see what’s lacking.
We choose to look for the problems in an attempt to be the solution, and that is far from a bad thing - in fact, the whole point of this blog is to show that so many things are both good and bad, with each side as deserving of recognition as the other.
Ours is a time of technological advancement, and in the last hundred years we’ve seen the rise of the atomic bomb. More devastatingly, we’ve seen it fall, and the aftermath that followed. We live in a world where political parties argue over the necessity of nuclear weaponry, and war is only ever a button away. It is so easy to curse humanity’s greed and call for the simpler days of stoking coal and horse-drawn carriages, but today I watched a video about a man who carried his metal heart on his back for 18 months. Next to guns come vaccinations, and with each new strain of illegal stimulant dragging 13 year olds into cartels comes the new medication that keeps another 13 year old going. And it’s not just technological advancement...
The number of times I have heard someone accuse my generation of anti-social behaviour because we do not know our neighbours and don’t greet strangers on the street, baffles me.
I may not be a social butterfly but I have a friend who I speak to almost every single day and I have never even seen her face. We’re four years apart and who knows how many miles but she can tell just from text if I’m down in a way other friends don’t.
I am choosing to actively appreciate the good that we take for granted and give it just as much recognition and attention as the bad I want to change. I’m choosing to consciously think about the good things and put the bad things to the back of my mind, just for a moment.
What I’m trying to say is that there are two sides to every story, and the sad sides or the bad sides may be much more exciting and newsworthy, but sometimes all we need is to take a second to listen to the happy ending.
Written by Nyanda Foday.
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