• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


What an interesting word.
What an intriguing concept.

We all know that stop is the opposite of go, hot of cold, in of out, and dark the opposite of light.

Even a child wants happy more than sad, would much rather have someone be kind than mean and although they may have fun that gets them dirty they like to be clean.

We all know lots of opposites; black and white, high and low, pretty and uglynew and old, big and small, short and tall. But what does the word 'opposite' mean?

Dictionaries tell us this adjective/adverb/preposition/noun can mean many things and be used in many ways.

(REALLY?? - all those parts of a language?)

Opposite may mean being in a place or position (situated or placed), on the other side of a line, space or thing; to be contrary in position. Opposite may also mean to move the other way - to reverse or move contrary to.

And it can be used to mean something is diametrically different. Go ahead, look up that word 'diametrically' - that is an interesting word too.

You may think of the meaning the word 'opposite' has to be adverse to, or against. Someone or something is opposed to or contrary in opinion or disposition.  And of course you can sit on the opposite side of the table. (It is this last form of the word that is a preposition).

The most common synonyms are contrary, adverse and contrast; but to be opposite is not necessarily bad. Isn't it nice to have differences and choices?

Neither wet nor dry is particularly better - context is everything - right? Diving into the pool is kinda cool when the weather is a sweltering triple digit day. Getting in the car after leaving its window open on a rainy day is not nearly so pleasant.

Somethings are important to remember and others are important to forget.

Up is fun when you can see for miles and miles but pretty terrifying if your plane is crashing. Down is really nice if you land safely but pretty nasty when you slip on ice.

I love hot summer days but without the cold of winter I would never get to build a snowman or see marshmallow snow drifts sparkling. If it were always clear and sunny the rain from cloudy skies could not wash and freshen the world's face.

Waking early to hear the birds sing and see the sun rise lifts our spirits but if I come to your party an hour early you may never invite me again.  I may not invite you to dinner again if you show up an hour late but I love the quiet I find late at night when the world is asleep.

Without the quiet peace of night's darkness sleep would not rejuvenate the body or mind but I love really loud music that excludes every other thought and sound to carry the mind into realms that are new each time it is performed.  Even life and death each have purpose and promise.

Good and bad, war and peace, right and wrong, truth and lies, love and hate, health and sickness, pleasure and pain - which would you choose? Don't tell me - I don't want to know.

I choose to observe and remember things that lift and enlighten, finding laughter in the midst of tears - it usually is there. A common English idiom states "that every cloud has a silver lining".  Another optimistic saying tells us "there was never a cloud the sun didn't shine through".

Opposites teach me to choose.
I can even choose the thoughts I keep in my mind.

The more we learn about something the more we can tell the difference between that thing and its opposite.

The more we learn about Jesus Christ and his ways the more we will be able to resist the temptations and deceptions of Satan.   D&C 68:6 teaches us, '... be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you'.

I choose faith not fear.
I choose to trust that God is with me
and will stand by me [and you too].

If I am afraid I am not thinking of, or trusting, Him.

And I choose to sing - like a child ...

"If you chance to meet a frown,
Do not let it stay,
Quickly turn it upside down
And smile that frown away ..."

Primary Songbook page 267