Great minds in history have long pondered the nature of dualism. The Taoist Yin and Yang principle is not just a popular stick-on tattoo design, but an elaborate concept that symbolises how naturally-opposing forces propel one another to maintain a cycle. Night and day, male and female, north and south, hot and cold, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson – without one, the other perishes. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. All that.
Then of course there’s the whole good and evil thing; right and wrong, friend and foe. It’s probably the most used and most potent tool for narrative, ever. Homer’s legendary tales of heroes and Hades is an ancient example that has kept true through the ages. There’s a goodie and there’s a baddie – and each needs the other to validate their own existence. “I don’t want to kill you,” said the sociopathic villain Joker to his heroic adversary Batman in The Dark Knight. “Why would I want to kill you?… you complete me,” he said quite poignantly.
But this dichotomy is not restricted to epic tomes and blockbuster films. In fact, it’s in the minutiae of life where you really understand that everything, EVERYTHING is inherently good, bad and ugly at the same time.
Take, for example, the following snippets of everyday life’s little moments of awesome. These small things can brighten the dark corners of a day… but of course, the evil anitpode inside can and will rear its ugly head. For every cherub plucking away at at a heavenly harp, there is a belezebub jabbing you in the arse with a pitchfork. And that’s just the way it is.
AWESOME: Going out of your way to step on a crisp, crunchy leaf.
DEVASTATING: Stepping on a leaf that appears crunchy that is actually limp and soggy.
AWESOME: Putting on a brand new pair of socks.
DEVASTATING: Stepping into a small puddle of water in those socks.
AWESOME: Wearing black track pants and soaking up warmth from the sun.
DEVASTATING: Overheating and getting sweaty legs.
AWESOME: Opening a new can of tennis balls to hear that endlessly-satisfying ‘psssst–crack!‘.
DEVASTATING: Cutting yourself on the tin lid while reaching in.
AWESOME: Eating the ice-cream that sits on the underside of the lid of a tub.
DEVASTATING: Getting it all over you because it melts too quickly.
AWESOME Getting in the car and hearing a favourite song instantly on the radio.
DEVASTATING: Realising it was the final 12 seconds of the song.
AWESOME: Sliding around on floorboards in socks.
DEVASTATING: Sliding right into a splinter.
AWESOME: Waking up before your alarm and realising there’s more time to sleep.
DEVASTATING: Waking up 2 minutes before your alarm.
AWESOME: That first bite of a delicious slice of pizza.
DEVASTATING: Burning your tongue on the molten cheese.
AWESOME: Lazily tossing some garbage at a distant rubbish bin and nailing it.
DEVASTATING: You miss and your garbage lands on top of a basket of freshly-washed clothes.
AWESOME: Finally seizing an opportunity to scratch your itchy butt in public.
DEVASTATING: Realising you weren’t actually alone, but an attractive member of the opposite sex was just outside your periphery.
AWESOME: Jumping into a swimming pool on a hot day.
DEVASTATING: Jumping directly into a suspiciously warm patch.
AWESOME:Walking into a public toilet just as the cleaner is walking out – promises of cleanliness.
DEVASTATING: Realising the cleaner was in fact retreating from the disaster zone produced by something decidedly non-human.
AWESOME: Picking up a giant piece of sushi with chopsticks in one, fluid motion, like a pro.
DEVASTATING: Having it disintergrate as soon as you dip it in the soy sauce, or worse – on the approach to the mouth.
AWESOME: Slamming a thick book shut to hear that sweet ‘whump!’ sound.
DEVASTATING: Getting the tip of your finger caught inside it in the process.
AWESOME: Successfully plotting the consumption of your sandwich so the last bite contains the maximum level of flavour and sauce.
DEVASTATING: Failing to take structural rigidity into your calculations and seeing that last tasty morsel fall to pieces in your hands.