Happy Opposite Day! (Or is it?)
I’ll skip over the fact that this day revered by school children the world over cannot (by its own definition) exist. Think about it. The rules of the day negate the day itself.
I know it’s mindblowing…but in honor of the paradox, I thought we could all stretch out minds today and consider the opposite.
Not the opposite of stretching out minds, mind you, but the opposite of our minds, by which I mean those out there with views that are oppositional to our own.
Yes, Opposite Day just got real. Call me sentimental, but I like to think that when the original Oppositors founded this great day, they were hoping we would spend it pushing ourselves out of our bubbles.
I know it won’t be easy. Who doesn’t love to just sit there and agree with everything that is being said? In fact, it’s downright enjoyable and kind of wonderful to face that kind of affirmation of our own beliefs.
But only listening to people we agree with is not going to lead to a whole lot of change or growth, just more of the same. And listening and considering doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. It does mean you have to acknowledge it though.
Don’t panic. You don’t have to solve all the world’s ills in one Opposite Day. We can start small. For example, remember the great dress debate of 2015? Families and friends were torn apart over the color of this dress (simpler times).
What if we had all taken a moment to consider the fascinating differences in perspective (and perception) that led to phenomena? You know, instead of insisting that everyone else was colorblind.
It’s admittedly an example with lower stakes, but think of where following the general principle could take us? That kind of Opposite Day thinking could really take us places (or nowhere at all). But I think it’s a paradox worth exploring.