The Holding Of Two Opposing Thoughts

Blog 1576 – 01.10.2020

The Holding Of Two Opposing Thoughts

Before I beginning sharing a thought inspired by today’s photo and title I would like to mark a milestone in my personal journey. On this day fifty years ago I began my eleven month long hot summer in the Republic of South Vietnam. Some things we would like to forget and some things remember.

I quoted yesterday someone who said that the purpose of the past is for us to remember, to learn from it, and then forget it. I heard another person say one time that the mark of adulthood is the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in our mind at the same time. I have found it to be true that every coin has not just two sides but three. We often forget about the outer edge. And I submit to you that it is often that slightly skewed view of the outer edge of anything that reveals the most important aspect of it to us.

Most of the time we seem content to accept the “party line” view. I am old enough to remember a use of the term “party line” that many do not – when the phone company, there was only one then, Ma Bell, had a phone plan for poor folks called a party line where several houses shared the same line. When you picked up the phone, two parties might already be talking and you might have to wait till they were done to make your call, or if you had already made a call, some one else might join the call and ask if they could interrupt yours as it was an emergency situation. You could learn a lot about your neighbors listening in on a party line.

Though I enjoy a good party I am not much for joining this party or that in today’s common usage of that term. “The opposition party” and “the opposite sex” are two terms that I do not care for as they are mostly use. I have a strong belief that we are One, the only differences being subtle and more to do with preferences in taste rather than being real differences. Oh, and I know we want to feel unique, special, a brand our own, apart. Do we really, I question? Do not most of our perceived problems come from the loner mentality, this nobody loves me, so I’ll go it alone, mistaken view?

We are not alone, our over blown sense of privacy is more like a cry to feel more part of and less apart from. Wow, I really had no idea that this thought was leading here but I am glad I followed the thread. Even as I am glad to share this “party line” with you.

In one of my favorite funny movies about one of my favorite people’s those from the land Down Under, Crocodile Dundee, while on an extended “walk about” in New York City at a party Mick says to someone he meets jokingly, “You really are crazy.” Afterwards the friend he accompanied to the party explains that the person he just met had being see a psychiatrist for therapy sessions. Mick says, “You mean they pay someone to listen to their problems, back in Walk About Creek, Australia we just tell Wally and he tells everybody so then there is no problem.” I have long believed our biggest problem is feeling isolated and that we have done or thought something so terrible that no one would love us if they knew when the reality is most everyone else has either thought or done the same or worse themselves. “We are all sick puppies” the wise lady said. But adorable puppies nonetheless.

And to return to my original launching thought, we often are found holding opposing thoughts in our heads and hearts at the same time. But rather than see that as a big probably we should choose to see that as just two sides of the same coin and try to find the edge of the coin that binds them together. That view just might make some sense out of the apparent glaring differences. Our biggest problems with others are not our differences but our likenesses especially when we see reflected back in others those things about ourselves that we have not yet learned to love.

“How’d you come to that conclusion, Crazy Dave?” One might ask. My answer: Just looking lovingly into so many wonderful mirrors.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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