Our Secret Antonyms

By nature, I’m hugely lazy,” says one of the most industrious people I know. Does this ring a bell? I chuckle as I type this because what my friend said hits very close to home. At times, I feel that I have all the makings of being a world class couch potato—despite knowing that nothing makes me happier than being busy and accomplishing goals. I’m a huge list maker; it gives me visceral satisfaction to see my goals all lined up in black and white and then cross them off, one at a time. People who know me well would say that I am not one to dilly dally.

Except, hearkening back to my friend’s self-observation, I simultaneously recognize the Slug That Dwells Within. I can laze away an afternoon like nobody’s business. Truly! Give me a glass of something cool and a magazine while enjoying the soft breezes of Santa Barbara and, well, all my concerns about the US military position in the South China Sea disappear. And, what makes it even more embarrassing is that I do fret about it—all in the context of knowing next to nothing and being utterly unable to have any influence. So much for genuine geo-political concern.

By my estimation, anyone introspective enough and interested in this re-booting process probably lives a productive life of the mind. You’re asking yourself questions, you’re observing what goes on around you, you’re utilizing critical thinking skills. But, I bet you have a few antonyms lurking in the corners of your personality. In what part of your life are you not what you seem? Some of the perplexing things people do often originate from one of these interior contradictions, whether they realize this or not. What aspect of you might surprise (or possibly threaten) those close to you to learn that your basic nature is X, even though everything you do broadcasts Y? And what I mean by this is not to suggest hypocrisy—duality is different. It’s different because as inherently lazy as we may be, we also have the motivation to get up and go. We overcome our laziness with our ambition.

Reconciling our dualities can use up of a good portion of any Re-booter’s processing capabilities and personal flash card. I confess to being astounded by my friend’s description of his basic nature, considering how hugely busy and hardworking he is, and yet, because I recognize this quality in myself, I’m willing to consider that the manner in which he describes himself is true. So, how does this impact my understanding of him?

Internal struggles like these aren’t new; Shakespeare wrote his plays on just such premises. It’s these hidden characteristics which make me curious—those elements of ourselves that few, if any, of the people we know would recognize in us. They can take a variety of expressions—the lazy/productive example is popular, but what about someone who appears dedicated to tradition and family but, underneath it all, is far more independent and less sentimental than their behavior suggests? Sometimes we’re aware of our dual natures, but in other instances we fear them and pretend they don’t exist. Take a few moments and reflect upon your inner antonyms—do you know what they are? Have you found a way to coexist peacefully with that secret part of you?

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One Response to “Our Secret Antonyms”

  1. grasshopper Says:

    great topic!

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