Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.  F. Scott Fitzgerald

Emails and texting have become potentials for extremes. They allow a person to slide to the end of their rope and swing into your experience.

The physical principle of swinging demands that one end must be attached to a fixed, middle position high in the air somewhere. If the rope isn’t attached to a lofty, middle position, the swinger either crumbles to the ground or crashes into the first fixed body it meets. And it is impossible to maintain the distant swing without hanging on for dear life to a fixed position.

I think it’s much better to mark the center and view both extremes before jumping into action. Actions have consequences. They take thoughtful consideration. If the media is to believed, few consequences are fully explored before the hoopla begins. Once a body has swung to one extreme or the other, and if that position is too loudly lauded as the only way to go, a body is stuck.

Holding two opposed ideas in mind at the same time allows a person to swing back and forth, passing through the middle for clarity.

Email authors cleverly eviscerate the opposing view and anyone so foolish as to promote it. Like a political Television ad, they never tell the whole story. How can they? They are impaled on a post on the left or the right.

Ambiguity is uncomfortable. The person who willingly listens to conflicting extremes runs the risk of the Gemini, seeing two ways and choosing none. With deliberate practice a gentler motion is experienced without obliterating someone else’s apple cart. And necessary work gets done.

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