We rarely think about opposites in our everyday lives. There is so much certainty in our beliefs that the only place we confront opposites is when we talk to others. What we miss in our quick dismissal of an opposite is its possibility. For the measure of truth is always a subjective one. Leaving possibility as a helful, more objective, measure in considering different points of view.
Let’s reframe the question into “Can Opposites Both Be Possible?” More times than not, they can. We never see this because we are so intent on holding on to our point of view. We never view the opposite of what we think is right as being possible. “It’s irrational to think otherwise” we tell ourselves.
Missing out on the opportunity to expand our thinking to include new things. Hiding from us the power of synthesis – where some elements of opposites could be combined to create a third option to be considered. Risking us to be out of balance when not considering opposites, as our ego clings to its fragile, yet powerful, mission of making us feel we are always right.
Considering opposites can be most helpful in testing our thinking before we choose to act. This process can clearly create some context around a choice before making it, by looking at it from more than one side. Then evaluating the opposites against this newly formed context before choosing a course of action.
It can be an effective way to help protect us against our own faulty thinking that leads to so many of our bad choices. For we never have the time to think through things. Our inclination is to always act quickly. Believing that this is the best indicator of strength and competence.
When we explore opposites, we acknowledge our humanity with its many biases and emotional urges. Slowing us down to think deeper. Using the stark contrast of opposites as the simplest way to work towards creating context and understanding before an important decision is made.