Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A question of polarity

Ever notice how everything exists in opposites? Left and right. Up and down. Here and there. Positive and negative.

The negative and positive electrical charges in an atom hold it together, give it shape and determine what, in large enough amounts, it will end up being. Lead. Gold. Silver. Helium. Methane. Hydrogen. In nature polarities work together to create all the elements that eventually became us -- humans. It's not really a matter of bad and good, but rather a matter of matter. There is no right or wrong way to put things together, just different combinations, different truths, if you will. But add a human element and suddenly it's a matter of bad versus good.

People need to label everything, to give everything a neat niche into which it can be stuffed. Who is to determine what is right or wrong? You? Me? Better it should be no one because what is right for one is wrong for another. Simply put, two people live besides two different lakes and both have been taught that water is necessary to continue life. However, one lake is poisoned and the other is sweet refreshment. Does that mean water is not necessary to life or that one of the lakes is wrong? Or does it simply mean that one lake is different and will kill a human while it supports life of a different sort?

Both lakes spring from a common source of sweet and pure underground water, but the poison lake bubbled up through layers of rock and sand that tainted it and made it poison. Both lakes flow to the sea and in the sea the poison in the lake water is rendered harmless by being dispersed in a much larger body of water.

Water is still necessary to live, but sometimes it's necessary to find that point in the lake water's existence where it can support human life. To eradicate the lake just to keep it from killing someone with its poison is to kill the life that lives on the poison. The poison is fatal to humans but it is necessary to another kind of life. Does that make the lake bad or just bad for humans?

Tap the water at its source before it can be poisoned and it is drinkable. Take the water from the lake and it is drinkable. The other lake is drinkable at any point along its course. But neither lake is bad or wrong, just different. Then again, the human who lives on the shores of the poison lake may only be able to live if he drinks the poison water because water untainted by the poison will kill him.

To polarize choice and life into right and wrong or good and bad is to divide people and provide a means to keep them apart. Sometimes it's better to find out what works for you and let everyone else find out what works for them. No right or wrong. No good or bad. Just different.

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