2015-06-14 – We seem to be living a never-ending Opposite Day—you know: the time when you try to say or do the opposite of everything I say or do. I say up, you say down. I go forward, you go backward. I smile, you frown. You’ve done it. We all have.
And it never seems to end. (Yes it does.)
Not everything has an opposite, of course. What’s the opposite of lunch? Or shoe? Or time?
Some things have different opposites depending on context. If you’re playing roulette, the opposite of red is black. If you’re talking politics, the opposite of red is blue. If you’re sitting in traffic, the opposite of red is green. (Then what’s the opposite of yellow?)
In politics, these days, the opposite of Republican is Democrat, the opposite of left is right, the opposite of rich is poor, the opposite of straight is gay, and the opposite of black is white.
Except when it isn’t and we get all confused. Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn Jenner. President Obama sides with Republicans on trade negotiations. A supposedly white NAACP president “passes” for black (and my senator, pitifully, tries). A left-leaning presidential candidate tries to campaign on issues, not conflict.
It’s confusing, once we’re playing Opposite Day to see anything else. Which makes us blind to the realities of life. In the words of Ecclesiastes: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I’ve taken this passage and split the pairs of opposites. I challenge you to live by only the left set or only the right set. That’s your task for Opposite Day. (No it isn’t.)
|A time to be born.||A time to die.|
|A time to plant.||A time to pluck up that which is planted.|
|A time to kill.||A time to heal.|
|A time to break down.||A time to build up.|
|A time to weep.||A time to laugh.|
|A time to mourn.||A time to dance.|
|A time to cast away stones.||A time to gather stones together.|
|A time to embrace.||A time to refrain from embracing.|
|A time to get.||A time to lose.|
|A time to keep.||A time to cast away.|
|A time to rend.||A time to sew.|
|A time to keep silence.||A time to speak.|
|A time to love.||A time to hate.|
|A time of war.||A time of peace.|
Exhale! (Don’t inhale!)
Now, let’s listen to this set to music. (What’s the opposite of music?)
Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds (adapted from the biblical verse by Pete Seeger)