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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

The Other Side

Good and evil. Black and white. Light and darkness. All polar opposites. We can’t have one without the other. They’re interchangeable and inalienable.

Often times, we feel like good is the “right” side to be on. But what is good anyways? Is democracy good and communism bad? Is capitalism the good side? Is being a Democrat the right way to go?

These sides are all perspective. What I deem to be good can be deemed to be horrible for someone else. It goes round and round in a never-ending circle.

Sometimes, we feel like the “good” side should just win out and we’ll then be done with it. But, how can there even be a good side without a bad side?

How can there be love without hate? How can there be friends without enemies? We don’t truly grasp the meaning of these words without knowing how the polar opposite feels like.

Both sides need each other to succeed and grow. It’s quite a game. To always be on the move. To try to win the war on “evil” - whatever evil may be. But, the tendency is to have evil win a few of the battles here and there.

To keep the game entertaining and going back and forth. After all, how boring would it be if the good side were always winning 100% of the time?

That wouldn’t be a struggle. That wouldn’t be a challenge at all. It would not be dramatic in any form or fashion.

After all, the critical ingredient of a good story is to have the villain win a few battles here and there before the hero triumphs at the “end” of the movie.

So, regardless of how much we detest the other side. In some symbiotic way, we kind of need the other side to play the game of detesting the other side.

It’s a weird form of storytelling I guess. And it always seems like this happens with our international neighbors. China and Taiwan. India and Pakistan. The UK and the rest of Europe. The USA and Mexico.

Neighbors seem to be quite prone to falling into this trap of playing the game of good versus bad - with both sides believing their side to be the “good”.

It can get quite tiring as well. When I fall into this trap and start feeling like the USA side is the good guys, I can’t help but get a tinge of feeling like something is “wrong”.

How can the USA possibly be all good? Yes, the concept of democracy has been drilled into my head as the right way to govern.

But, it’s not true in all cases. For example, I don’t think China will be able to sustain itself if they were to change their government into a democratic institution.

It simply doesn’t work for all countries and all cases. It’s like watching MasterClasses on leadership from Howard Schultz and Bob Iger.

It’s good to gain some useful tips on leadership on a general scale, but everyone is different and leadership needs to be personalized for everyone as well. Not everyone runs Disney or Starbucks.

But anyway, good and bad is irrelevant. In some form or fashion, we need this game to sustain our country and economy. There is always the need to compete against some big bad foreign invader.

It just so happens that the coronavirus has taken the role of “bad” for everyone on a global scale. Even though springtime is here and the trees are blooming like they usually do, us humans are dreading this battle against an “invisible enemy.”

Our usual foreign squabbles (i.e. USA-Mexico, UK-Europe, China-Taiwan, India-Pakistan) between country lines have been replaced by the ultimate battle against this deadly virus.

For most of us, the “bad guy” is clear. We must practice social distancing - staying at home, washing our hands, practicing proper hygiene - in order to beat this boss.

The guidelines and qualifications on what it means to “beat” is also different among many people. Here in the USA, some states want to reopen their economies faster than others.

There have been protests along the way these past few weeks about not wanting to stay home. Regardless of your thoughts on this, it seems like there is a segment of the population that clearly doesn’t see the virus as a clear threat.

So every human has his or her own battle. His or her own priorities. His or her own challenges and perspectives of the other side.

I hope we can show more compassion for the other side. Try to see the world the way they see it. The way they live it. There is an interconnectedness to us all - and sometimes the “bad” guy needs to win once in awhile to keep us on our toes.

The darkness is needed in order to truly appreciate the light. Whatever you deem it to be.

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