Are We Hardwired for Polarity?


I was reading this story in the Charlotte Observer about a new sports drink called Volt that’s been developed to compete directly with Gatorade, which currently dominates 80% of the sports drink market. Suddenly I found myself, having never had any ill will towards Gatorade before, wishing Volt would succeed and crush the industry Goliath.

What is that about me (and humans in general) that we are drawn to such polarization? Republican/Democrat, gay/straight, male/female, Christian/non-Christian, Calvinist/Armenian, Coke/Pepsi, tastes great/less filling, and on and on it goes. All, I suppose, are variations on the yin/yang theme. But, if the point of the yin/yang is “unity in duality,” then … where’s the unity? I’m afraid our polarization has just led us to feel farther apart than we really are. And created an incredibly strong gravitational pull that must be overcome if we’re to forge a truly third way.

Just thinking out loud here …

As I tucked my daughter into bed tonight, she started reading from Eric Carle’s Animals Animals, and this poem (“Names”) by Carl Sandburg on the first page struck me, because I think it begins to address this perceived polarity, so I thought I’d share it with you:

There is only one horse of the earth
and his name is All Horses.
There is only one bird in the air
and his name is All Wings.
There is only one fish in the sea
and his name is All Fins.
There is only one man in the world
and his name is All Men.
There is only one woman in the world
and her name is All Women.
There is only one child in the world
and the child’s name is All Children.
There is only one Maker in the world
and His children cover the earth
and they are named All God’s Children.



Posted on 10-22-2007

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